I was born in Columbia, South Carolina, raised in the Carolinas and Ohio, and now live with my family outside New York City in South Orange, New Jersey. (The background images on this website are from antique postcards of South Orange.)
Since 2011, I’ve served as a contributing editor at the award-winning, Brooklyn-based literary magazine One Story. I also teach at One Story‘s summer conference and created a series of One Story online classes called Become Your Own Best Editor. Previously I was executive editor of Story and editor-at-large of Zoetrope: All-Story.
I’ve taught creative writing in the MFA program at Columbia University and at The Ohio State University, Butler University, and Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis. I’ve also served as a visiting editor at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, The Community of Writers, and other conferences.
I received a B.A. in English and political science from Case Western Reserve University and an M.A. in English and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Ohio State.
I’m the grateful recipient of grants, fellowships, and scholarships from the Indiana Arts Commission, Arts Council of Indianapolis, Ohio Arts Council, The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Cconference (including a 1996 work-study scholarship and the 2008 Allan Collins Fellowship in Fiction).
My first novel, What You Have Left (Simon & Schuster) is available in hardcover, paperback, paperback reissue, and audio editions. My second novel, the New York Times bestseller Long Drive Home (Simon & Schuster) is available in hardcover and paperback.