• A Teacher and Her Student

    Marilynne Robinson was my fourth and final workshop instructor at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

  • Thought and Memory

    Back in 2008, when my first novel came out, my publisher sent me on a West Coast tour.

  • John Healy Won't Let the Bastards Grind Him Down

    He fought other homeless winos in the street, then won book awards, then played tournament chess.

  • Mary Karr

    Karr handles gruesome experiences with such compassion, charm, lyricism, vividness, and mordant comedy that the work transcends mere horror story or freak show. Her storytelling melds scrappy Texas slang with poetic precision and is totally addictive.

  • Bret Easton Ellis

    Over the course of six novels and one book of short stories, Bret Easton Ellis has put together one of the most entertaining, fascinating, and fucked-up bodies of work in contemporary literature.

  • Max Brooks

    Anybody who cares about the state of the world and what happens to people when disease and wars happen should read World War Z by Max Brooks. It’s a fictional oral history of “the zombie war.”