My debut novel The Nix was named the #1 book of the year by Audible and Entertainment Weekly, as well as one of the year’s best books by The New York Times, The Washington Post, Amazon, Newsday, Library Journal, and many others. The Nix is a finalist for the Leonard Award from the National Book Critics Circle for Best Debut of 2016. It will be published worldwide in 25 languages.
My short stories have been published in many literary journals, including The Iowa Review, Agni, The Gettysburg Review, The Denver Quarterly, and Fiction, which awarded me its annual Fiction Prize.
I’m a native Iowan, but I grew up all over the Midwest: Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas. I’ve lived in New England and New York and the Twin Cities and Chicago, but I’ve since fled to a warmer climate: I now make my home in Naples, Florida.
I am Associate Professor of English at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, where I’ve taught creative writing & literature courses. I’m currently on leave from St. Thomas in order to focus exclusively on writing for a while. I hold a BA in English and Journalism from the University of Iowa and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Before joining the faculty at St. Thomas, I taught writing at Florida Gulf Coast University. Before that, I worked at the Academy of American Poets, editing and designing the website Poets.org. Before that, I worked as a newspaper and magazine journalist.