BA, Sarah Lawrence College. MFA, Columbia University. Author of Sandman’s Dust, Stories of an Imaginary Childhood, While the Messiah Tarries, After, Signs and Wonders, Strange Fire, and A Faker’s Dozen; editor of Neurotica, Nothing Makes You Free, and Scribblers on the Roof. Works have been translated into a half-dozen languages and frequently anthologized; winner of the Edward Lewis Wallant Award and other prizes; stories published in Antaeus, The Paris Review, and other magazines; essays published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and other newspapers. SLC, 1993–
Current undergraduate courses
Some people think that all classes—especially writing classes—should be “safe.” I don’t. I prefer danger. Only by risking failure can anyone learn. I want students to care about what they write and how they write; and if the consequences of caring include anxiety, trepidation, and night sweats, so be it. Oh, class should also be fun. As for the content: You write, I read, we talk. Using student work as examples, we talk about what makes one story dynamic and another dull, what makes one character believable and another implausible, and, mostly, what makes one sentence sing and another croak.
You write. I read. We talk. Besides pursuing their individual work, students will collaborate on a novel. It will be finished in May and it will come out next year from Arcade Publishing.