About Me

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My work can be found in REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters, The Jabberwock Review, The Emerson Review, Storyglossia, The MacGuffin, Confrontation, Passages North, SmokeLong Quarterly, elimae, wigleaf, Pank, New Delta Review, and Gargoyle #57, among others. One of my stories has been translated into Farsi by Asadollah Amraee, and many others by Jalil Jafari, two of which have been published in the Iranian journal, Golestaneh Magazine. Currently, I'm an Associate editor for Narrative Magazine. In 2011, I was awarded the Carol Houck Smith Contributor Scholarship for the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.

Monday, September 26, 2011


My family and I are off on an adventure to Barcelona!! As much as I love these trips and am so very grateful, there's a little part of me (maybe not so little) that wishes to be at home writing. That said, I realize each of these trips and other things life throws our way, good and bad, enrich my writing soul.

I hope your journeys are marvelous adventures, whether real or fictional.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"Echolation" by Myfanwy Collins

is now available for preorder!! Myfanwy is an incredibly talented writer, and I cannot wait for her debut novel!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Read: Recommendations

Here are some books that I've read in the last month or so and loved:

Richard Bausch's "Peace" and his latest short story collection, "Something is Out There." "Peace" is a powerful, slim novel set in Italy during World War II; and I've loved his stories for over a decade and this group is just as elegant, real, masterful, as his previous collections.

"Vida" by Patricia Engel. The language in this novel/novel-in-stories is energetic and lyrical and the narrator is larger than life.

"This is Not Your City" by Caitlin Horrocks. These stories are amazing and tense and the characters are faced with real consequences. The narration is beautiful.

"This Beautiful Life" by Helen Schulman. Timely premise and this writer knows how to create a beautiful sentence.

"Anatomy of a Disappearance" by Hisham Matar. Subtle and powerful, the narrator experiences the disappearance of his father and the narrator is left with all of its implications.

Also, if you're looking for an intelligent nail-biting read:

"Before I Go to Sleep" by S.J.Watson. The narrator loses her memory every night she falls asleep.

"Turn of Mind" by Alice LaPlante. The narrator in this one has Alzhiemer's and she's accused of murder.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Wish Tank

Love the idea and the sentiment of Laura Ellen Scott's new blog Wish Tank

I can't wait to read her book Death Wishing

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Read: A Good Hard Look by Ann Napolitano

“A Good Hard Look” by Ann Napolitano
The Penguin Press
978-1-59420-292-6 July 11, 2011

“The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it,” is the epigraphic quote that begins Ann Napolitano’s new novel, “A Good Hard Look.” Even if you haven’t read Flannery O’Connor and experienced her unflinching characterizations and situations rendered with sharp wit, you will feel as if you know her after reading this memorable portrayal. Milledgeville, Georgia, the town in which O’Connor lived, comes to life in Napolitano’s assured hands, and its characters are just as lively and flawed as you’d expect them to be.

One of the women, a pampered belle, is terrified she’ll end up a character in Flannery’s work, an unflattering replica doused with Flannery’s acerbic humor. A boy suffers from crippling anxiety except when he’s around his summer employer. Two women take care of each other’s child and the result is that a girl gets the nurturing she needs and a boy moves too quickly into adulthood. After a wealthy, married man is asked to teach Flannery to drive, they develop a clandestine friendship, and a police man lives for earning a promotion and little else. Firmly in the center are Flannery, hindered by her illness, yet dedicated to her work, her mother Regina, whose devotion to her daughter is deeply affecting, and a flock of raucous peacocks. As in O’Connor’s work, there are larger questions of religion and grace throughout. The people in “A Good Hard Look” are leaning toward self-destruction and one irreversible, calamitous misstep will bring others down like dominoes in its wake.

Napolitano is a gifted storyteller, recreating Milledgeville and its imperfect but well-meaning people, lending a sensibility that’s arguably in keeping with O’Connor’s vision, yet grounded in her own modern voice. In this vein, Napolitano offers us a look at characters on their rough and painful journey toward redemption.

O’Connor once wrote, “I am not afraid the book will be controversial, I’m afraid it will not be controversial.” I imagine Ms. O’Connor would have approved of “A Good Hard Look.”

* Review first published in the August 14th edition of The Pilot of Southern Pines

Read: State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
HarperCollins/ June 2011

Ann Patchett’s latest work, “State of Wonder” has everything I love in a novel: science, exotic locale, mystery and ethical exploration. Marina is a pharmacologist whose boss sends her on a mission to the Amazonian jungle of Brazil to prod and report on the scientist working for his company. She’s also been asked by the wife of her deceased lab partner to learn more about the circumstances of his death and to retrieve his body. What Marina actually finds there in the jungle will delight and intrigue the reader and maybe even elicit a shiver or two.

Dr. Swenson has been working on a fertility drug in the jungle, stringing her employer, Vogel, along for years. She’s as tough and harsh as the environment she inhabits and she’s not about to be pushed. When Marina, who was once her student, meets her again in Brazil, she learns more from her old teacher there than she ever did from her lectures.

A riveting and intelligent story, “State of Wonder” also explores the implications of interfering with indigenous cultures, and underlines the need for maintaining a balance between offering solutions for medical problems and diseases and protecting those social and ecological systems from which solutions are extracted.

Anyone familiar with Ann Patchett’s work will know how skilled she is in creating tense situations which force her characters to react and this book is no exception. The smooth, authoritative writing captivated me from the start, the lush details and fascinating premise kept me engaged, and the last pages were truly wondrous.

*First published in the August 21 edition of The Pilot of Southern Pines
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