B.A. Manhattanville College, M.A. Columbia University, PhD University of Wisconsin. Still Waters in Niger nominated for International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, named Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune; French translation, Eaux Tranquilles, shortlisted for the Prix Femina Etranger. Who Occupies This House, named an Editors’ Choice by The New York Times. Short work in Ploughshares Solo Series, DoubleTake, Agni and others and in Best American Short Stories, Best Spiritual Writing, Pushcart Prize XXV,Pushcart Book of Short Stories. Recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. SLC, 1991-1994, 1997–
In this course, we’ll explore the ways in which the timeline that governs most fiction can open into spaces of timelessness. Whether achieved by means of metaphor or a shift in perspective, through the use of history or myth, it seems that stepping outside the temporal frame of a story may often yield an expansion of its meaning. We’ll read fiction by Munro, Baldwin, Elizabeth Bishop, Joyce, Trevor, Edward P. Jones, Proust, Woolf, Chekhov, Duras, Mann—and some poetry, as well: Rilke, Emily Dickinson, Cavafy, etc. A couple of stories and poems or a section of a novel will be assigned each week, as well, as a craft exercise that relates to the readings. These exercises for the most part will be written out of class. (I’ll be glad to look at them, although they aren't required to be handed in.) At the end of each class, we’ll talk about general questions of craft: beginnings and endings, audience, self-censorship, voice, perseverance, etc. We’ll also make space in the final weeks of the semester for short presentations in which students explore the hidden avenues that led to their art.