September 3, 2012: Best American Essays 2012, Queen of the Night News, Leipzig and More

I am happy to report back after a long silence with some news.

  • I’m grateful to my editors at The Morning News for nominating me for the new Best American Essays 2012, edited by David Brooks. My essay “Fanboy” was honored with a Notable Essay nod.
  • My new novel, The Queen of the Night, is very close to going into production, with an eye toward fall of 2013, and coming out from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  • And next month, in October, I will be the Picador Professor at the University of Leipzig, visiting for the fall semester there, following in the footsteps of Fiona Maazel and Porochista Khakpour, where I’ll teach the graphic novel and a course on writing both historical novels and speculative fiction, a course I call Imaginary Countries, first taught at Iowa’s MFA in Fiction program in the spring of 2011. Leipzig is a city with a rich literary history, and important to one of my favorite writers, the late Christa Wolf. I’m honored and excited to go.

Before I leave for Germany, in the third week of September, I’ll make three appearances. The first is on Sept. 15th, at the Berkshire Wordfest at the Mount, speaking with Dani Shapiro and Elyssa Shappell on bad behavior in fiction. Sept. 18th, I will appear at Volume I Brooklyn’s Three Minute Stories about Books–this is going to be a lot of fun, and I’ll be appearing with some of my favorite writers–Elissa Schappell, Maris Kreizman, Rachel Fershleiser, and Paula Bomer, who I met as a child actually. Then at Brooklyn Bookfest, I’ll be moderating a panel on writers who debut over the age of 40 with Jacqueline Jones LaMon, Carin Clevidence and my beloved Julia Glass (we shared an adventure in Italy!) on Sept. 23rd.

I won’t make another appearance in the US until the following Spring, when I’ll read at the AWP Conference with Elliott Holt, Jennine Capo Crucet and Reese Okyong Kwon. I will however be making some appearances in Germany this fall, and details on those are forthcoming.


  1. I wish I could be there to hear your panel on writers who debut over 40 (for obvious and selfish reasons). Meanwhile, I’m really looking forward to reading the new novel. Best of luck in Leipzig!

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