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Hala Alyan illuminates the recent history of Lebanon and Syria through the personal tragedies and betrayals befalling one Arab American family in Arsonists’ CityThe Nasr family is spread across the globe— from Beirut to Brooklyn to the West Coast. A decision to sell their ancestral home brings the family to Beirut, where family members unite in a fight to save the house. They all have secrets that distance has helped smother, but in a city smoldering with the legacy of war, an ongoing flow of refugees, religious tension, and political protest, those secrets ignite, imperiling the fragile ties that hold this family together. Using her insights as a psychologist, Alyan points to patterns of secrecy and shame and the power of buried trauma to leap beyond displacement and time.

Alyan is the author of Salt Houses which won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the Arab American Book Award. She has also published four award-winning collections of poetry, including The Twenty-Ninth Year. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, LitHub and Guernica. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and works as a clinical psychologist.

“Plumbing the intricacies of race and womanhood, Alyan turns paragraphs into poetry.” –New York Times Book Review. “Feels revolutionary in its freshness.”- Entertainment Weekly. “A novel that at once breaks the heart and fills it with joy.”—Los Angeles Review of Books

Of Women and Salt is a sweeping, masterful debut about a daughter’s fateful choice, a mother motivated by her own past, and a family legacy that begins in Cuba before either of them was born. From 19th-century cigar factories to present-day detention centers, from Cuba to Mexico, the novel follows Latina women of fierce pride and longing, all irrevocably linked by the inheritance of trauma and the stories passed between them. It is a haunting meditation on the choices of mothers and the tenacity of women who choose to tell their stories despite those who wish to silence them.

Garcia is the daughter of immigrants from Cuba and Mexico and grew up in Miami. She holds a BA in Sociology and Media Studies from Fordham University and worked as a feminist and migrant rights organizer for 10 years before pursuing an MFA in fiction from Purdue University. Garcia is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award and a Steinbeck Fellowship from San Jose State University. Her fiction and poems have been featured in Best American Poetry, Tin House, Zyzzyva, Iowa Review and elsewhere. Garcia lives in the San Francisco Bay area. 

“Garcia’s novel is a…stunningly accomplished first novel that is both epic and intimate.” —O Magazine.  “This riveting account will please readers of sweeping multigenerational stories.” —Publishers Weekly. “The novel is quietly heartbreaking.” —Booklist (starred review).  

In Very Cold People, the narrator, Ruthie, looks back on her adolescence in the fictional Massachusetts town of Waitsfield, where the people are as cold and brittle as the New England winters. In spare, poetic fashion, Ruthie shares stories of neglect, poverty and sexual abuse. Very Cold People is a deeply moving account of one woman’s journey to free herself of the secrecy and shame of intergenerational trauma.

Manguso is the author of eight books of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Her nonfiction books are 300 Arguments, Ongoingness, The Guardians, and The Two Kinds of Decay, and her poetry collections are Siste Viator and The Captain Lands in Paradise. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Hodder Fellowship, and the Rome Prize. Born and raised in Massachusetts, she now lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches creative writing at Antioch University.

“Manguso’s attention to the chilliness and reservation of certain New Englanders crackles like a room-temperature beverage poured over ice.” —Washington Post. “Though dealing with life’s ugly, messy truths, her writing is compact and beautiful.” —New York Times.  “Manguso is an exquisitely astute writer.”—Boston Globe.  


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Hala Alyan

2022 PFWA

Hala Alyan illuminates the recent history of Lebanon and Syria through the personal tragedies and betrayals befalling one Arab American family in Arsonists’ CityThe Nasr family is spread across the globe— from Beirut to Brooklyn to the West Coast. A decision to sell their ancestral home brings the family to Beirut, where family members unite in a fight to save the house. They all have secrets that distance has helped smother, but in a city smoldering with the legacy of war, an ongoing flow of refugees, religious tension, and political protest, those secrets ignite, imperiling the fragile ties that hold this family together. Using her insights as a psychologist, Alyan points to patterns of secrecy and shame and the power of buried trauma to leap beyond displacement and time.

Alyan is the author of Salt Houses which won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the Arab American Book Award. She has also published four award-winning collections of poetry, including The Twenty-Ninth Year. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, LitHub and Guernica. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and works as a clinical psychologist.

“Plumbing the intricacies of race and womanhood, Alyan turns paragraphs into poetry.” –New York Times Book Review. “Feels revolutionary in its freshness.”- Entertainment Weekly. “A novel that at once breaks the heart and fills it with joy.”—Los Angeles Review of Books

Gabriela Garcia

2022 PFWA

Of Women and Salt is a sweeping, masterful debut about a daughter’s fateful choice, a mother motivated by her own past, and a family legacy that begins in Cuba before either of them was born. From 19th-century cigar factories to present-day detention centers, from Cuba to Mexico, the novel follows Latina women of fierce pride and longing, all irrevocably linked by the inheritance of trauma and the stories passed between them. It is a haunting meditation on the choices of mothers and the tenacity of women who choose to tell their stories despite those who wish to silence them.

Garcia is the daughter of immigrants from Cuba and Mexico and grew up in Miami. She holds a BA in Sociology and Media Studies from Fordham University and worked as a feminist and migrant rights organizer for 10 years before pursuing an MFA in fiction from Purdue University. Garcia is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award and a Steinbeck Fellowship from San Jose State University. Her fiction and poems have been featured in Best American Poetry, Tin House, Zyzzyva, Iowa Review and elsewhere. Garcia lives in the San Francisco Bay area. 

“Garcia’s novel is a…stunningly accomplished first novel that is both epic and intimate.” —O Magazine.  “This riveting account will please readers of sweeping multigenerational stories.” —Publishers Weekly. “The novel is quietly heartbreaking.” —Booklist (starred review).  

Sarah Manguso

2022 PFWA

In Very Cold People, the narrator, Ruthie, looks back on her adolescence in the fictional Massachusetts town of Waitsfield, where the people are as cold and brittle as the New England winters. In spare, poetic fashion, Ruthie shares stories of neglect, poverty and sexual abuse. Very Cold People is a deeply moving account of one woman’s journey to free herself of the secrecy and shame of intergenerational trauma.

Manguso is the author of eight books of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Her nonfiction books are 300 Arguments, Ongoingness, The Guardians, and The Two Kinds of Decay, and her poetry collections are Siste Viator and The Captain Lands in Paradise. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Hodder Fellowship, and the Rome Prize. Born and raised in Massachusetts, she now lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches creative writing at Antioch University.

“Manguso’s attention to the chilliness and reservation of certain New Englanders crackles like a room-temperature beverage poured over ice.” —Washington Post. “Though dealing with life’s ugly, messy truths, her writing is compact and beautiful.” —New York Times.  “Manguso is an exquisitely astute writer.”—Boston Globe.  


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Hala Alyan illuminates the recent history of Lebanon and Syria through the personal tragedies and betrayals befalling one Arab American family in Arsonists’ CityThe Nasr family is spread across the globe— from Beirut to Brooklyn to the West Coast. A decision to sell their ancestral home brings the family to Beirut, where family members unite in a fight to save the house. They all have secrets that distance has helped smother, but in a city smoldering with the legacy of war, an ongoing flow of refugees, religious tension, and political protest, those secrets ignite, imperiling the fragile ties that hold this family together. Using her insights as a psychologist, Alyan points to patterns of secrecy and shame and the power of buried trauma to leap beyond displacement and time.

Alyan is the author of Salt Houses which won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the Arab American Book Award. She has also published four award-winning collections of poetry, including The Twenty-Ninth Year. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, LitHub and Guernica. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and works as a clinical psychologist.

“Plumbing the intricacies of race and womanhood, Alyan turns paragraphs into poetry.” –New York Times Book Review. “Feels revolutionary in its freshness.”- Entertainment Weekly. “A novel that at once breaks the heart and fills it with joy.”—Los Angeles Review of Books

Of Women and Salt is a sweeping, masterful debut about a daughter’s fateful choice, a mother motivated by her own past, and a family legacy that begins in Cuba before either of them was born. From 19th-century cigar factories to present-day detention centers, from Cuba to Mexico, the novel follows Latina women of fierce pride and longing, all irrevocably linked by the inheritance of trauma and the stories passed between them. It is a haunting meditation on the choices of mothers and the tenacity of women who choose to tell their stories despite those who wish to silence them.

Garcia is the daughter of immigrants from Cuba and Mexico and grew up in Miami. She holds a BA in Sociology and Media Studies from Fordham University and worked as a feminist and migrant rights organizer for 10 years before pursuing an MFA in fiction from Purdue University. Garcia is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award and a Steinbeck Fellowship from San Jose State University. Her fiction and poems have been featured in Best American Poetry, Tin House, Zyzzyva, Iowa Review and elsewhere. Garcia lives in the San Francisco Bay area. 

“Garcia’s novel is a…stunningly accomplished first novel that is both epic and intimate.” —O Magazine.  “This riveting account will please readers of sweeping multigenerational stories.” —Publishers Weekly. “The novel is quietly heartbreaking.” —Booklist (starred review).  

In Very Cold People, the narrator, Ruthie, looks back on her adolescence in the fictional Massachusetts town of Waitsfield, where the people are as cold and brittle as the New England winters. In spare, poetic fashion, Ruthie shares stories of neglect, poverty and sexual abuse. Very Cold People is a deeply moving account of one woman’s journey to free herself of the secrecy and shame of intergenerational trauma.

Manguso is the author of eight books of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Her nonfiction books are 300 Arguments, Ongoingness, The Guardians, and The Two Kinds of Decay, and her poetry collections are Siste Viator and The Captain Lands in Paradise. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Hodder Fellowship, and the Rome Prize. Born and raised in Massachusetts, she now lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches creative writing at Antioch University.

“Manguso’s attention to the chilliness and reservation of certain New Englanders crackles like a room-temperature beverage poured over ice.” —Washington Post. “Though dealing with life’s ugly, messy truths, her writing is compact and beautiful.” —New York Times.  “Manguso is an exquisitely astute writer.”—Boston Globe.  


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Hala Alyan

2022 PFWA

Hala Alyan illuminates the recent history of Lebanon and Syria through the personal tragedies and betrayals befalling one Arab American family in Arsonists’ CityThe Nasr family is spread across the globe— from Beirut to Brooklyn to the West Coast. A decision to sell their ancestral home brings the family to Beirut, where family members unite in a fight to save the house. They all have secrets that distance has helped smother, but in a city smoldering with the legacy of war, an ongoing flow of refugees, religious tension, and political protest, those secrets ignite, imperiling the fragile ties that hold this family together. Using her insights as a psychologist, Alyan points to patterns of secrecy and shame and the power of buried trauma to leap beyond displacement and time.

Alyan is the author of Salt Houses which won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the Arab American Book Award. She has also published four award-winning collections of poetry, including The Twenty-Ninth Year. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, LitHub and Guernica. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and works as a clinical psychologist.

“Plumbing the intricacies of race and womanhood, Alyan turns paragraphs into poetry.” –New York Times Book Review. “Feels revolutionary in its freshness.”- Entertainment Weekly. “A novel that at once breaks the heart and fills it with joy.”—Los Angeles Review of Books

Gabriela Garcia

2022 PFWA

Of Women and Salt is a sweeping, masterful debut about a daughter’s fateful choice, a mother motivated by her own past, and a family legacy that begins in Cuba before either of them was born. From 19th-century cigar factories to present-day detention centers, from Cuba to Mexico, the novel follows Latina women of fierce pride and longing, all irrevocably linked by the inheritance of trauma and the stories passed between them. It is a haunting meditation on the choices of mothers and the tenacity of women who choose to tell their stories despite those who wish to silence them.

Garcia is the daughter of immigrants from Cuba and Mexico and grew up in Miami. She holds a BA in Sociology and Media Studies from Fordham University and worked as a feminist and migrant rights organizer for 10 years before pursuing an MFA in fiction from Purdue University. Garcia is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award and a Steinbeck Fellowship from San Jose State University. Her fiction and poems have been featured in Best American Poetry, Tin House, Zyzzyva, Iowa Review and elsewhere. Garcia lives in the San Francisco Bay area. 

“Garcia’s novel is a…stunningly accomplished first novel that is both epic and intimate.” —O Magazine.  “This riveting account will please readers of sweeping multigenerational stories.” —Publishers Weekly. “The novel is quietly heartbreaking.” —Booklist (starred review).  

Sarah Manguso

2022 PFWA

In Very Cold People, the narrator, Ruthie, looks back on her adolescence in the fictional Massachusetts town of Waitsfield, where the people are as cold and brittle as the New England winters. In spare, poetic fashion, Ruthie shares stories of neglect, poverty and sexual abuse. Very Cold People is a deeply moving account of one woman’s journey to free herself of the secrecy and shame of intergenerational trauma.

Manguso is the author of eight books of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Her nonfiction books are 300 Arguments, Ongoingness, The Guardians, and The Two Kinds of Decay, and her poetry collections are Siste Viator and The Captain Lands in Paradise. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Hodder Fellowship, and the Rome Prize. Born and raised in Massachusetts, she now lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches creative writing at Antioch University.

“Manguso’s attention to the chilliness and reservation of certain New Englanders crackles like a room-temperature beverage poured over ice.” —Washington Post. “Though dealing with life’s ugly, messy truths, her writing is compact and beautiful.” —New York Times.  “Manguso is an exquisitely astute writer.”—Boston Globe.  

Nadia Hashimi

2022 PFWA

In Sparks like Stars, a 10-year-old Afghan girl’s life is shattered when a military coup in the palace kills her entire family. Escaping with the help of a palace guard, Sitara is smuggled out of Afghanistan and raised by an American diplomat. Thirty years later, now a successful surgeon in the U.S., she returns to Afghanistan to learn the truth about what happened on that terrible night. From the bestselling author of The Pearl That Broke Its Shell, The House Without Windows, and When the Moon Is Low.

Hashimi was born and raised in New York and New Jersey. Her parents were born in Afghanistan and left in the early 1970s. A pediatrician, she lives with her husband and four children in Potomac, Maryland. She is a member of the US Afghan Women’s Council, Afghan American Foundation, and Montgomery County Commission on Health.

“The novel is an elegiac tribute to family and civilization—fragile collective entities that should be cherished while they still hold.”  — BookPage. “Thrilling and moving” – Booklist. I found myself eagerly following in a way I hadn’t remembered for a long time, impatient for the next twist and turn of the story.”—NPR.

Katherine Heiny

2022 PFWA

In Katherine Heiny’s Early Morning Riser, young Jane falls in love with Duncan easily. He is charming, good-natured, and handsome but unfortunately, he has also slept with nearly every woman in Boyne City, Michigan. Although Jane eventually comes to terms with dating the world’s most prolific seducer of women, she wishes she did not have to share him quite so widely. Then, any notion Jane had of love and marriage changes with a terrible car crash. Bitter sweet and laugh-out-loud funny, Early Morning Riser is a Good Morning America Buzz Pick.

Heiny is the author of Standard Deviation and a story collection, Single, Carefree, Mellow. Her fiction has been published in, among others, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Ploughshares, and Glimmer Train. She lives in Bethesda, Maryland with her husband and children.

“I’d read the back of a cereal box if it was written by Katherine Heiny.”—Forbes. “A deep awareness of the ways the potential for tragedy lies just beneath the surface of small-town life. . .holds the humor in perfect balance.” –Publisher’s Weekly. “The story. . .sparkles with Heiny’s trademark witticisms and cutting observations.” – Washington Post

Torrey Peters

2022 PFWA

In Detransition, Baby, the lives of three women—transgender and cisgender—collide after an unexpected pregnancy forces them to confront their deepest desires. This provocative debut is about what happens at the emotional, messy, vulnerable corners of womanhood that platitudes and good intentions can’t reach. The author asks us to question, “Who and what determines a family?” Detransition, Baby was longlisted for the Women’s Prize. It’s also a Roxane Gay’s Audacious Book Club Pick and a New York Times Editor’s Choice.

Peters is the author of two novellas, Infect Your Friends and Loved Ones and The Masker. She grew up in Chicago, and received her MA from Dartmouth College, and her MFA from the University of Iowa. Currently she makes her home in Brooklyn.

 “Even the most complimentary adjectives feel insufficient to describe Torrey Peters’ first novel.”— Bookpage (starred review). “With heart and savvy, [Detransition, Baby upends] our traditional, gendered notions of what parenthood can look like.” New York Times Book Review. “One of the most celebrated books of the year.” –Time


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Hala Alyan

2022 PFWA

Hala Alyan illuminates the recent history of Lebanon and Syria through the personal tragedies and betrayals befalling one Arab American family in Arsonists’ CityThe Nasr family is spread across the globe— from Beirut to Brooklyn to the West Coast. A decision to sell their ancestral home brings the family to Beirut, where family members unite in a fight to save the house. They all have secrets that distance has helped smother, but in a city smoldering with the legacy of war, an ongoing flow of refugees, religious tension, and political protest, those secrets ignite, imperiling the fragile ties that hold this family together. Using her insights as a psychologist, Alyan points to patterns of secrecy and shame and the power of buried trauma to leap beyond displacement and time.

Alyan is the author of Salt Houses which won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the Arab American Book Award. She has also published four award-winning collections of poetry, including The Twenty-Ninth Year. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, LitHub and Guernica. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and works as a clinical psychologist.

“Plumbing the intricacies of race and womanhood, Alyan turns paragraphs into poetry.” –New York Times Book Review. “Feels revolutionary in its freshness.”- Entertainment Weekly. “A novel that at once breaks the heart and fills it with joy.”—Los Angeles Review of Books

Gabriela Garcia

2022 PFWA

Of Women and Salt is a sweeping, masterful debut about a daughter’s fateful choice, a mother motivated by her own past, and a family legacy that begins in Cuba before either of them was born. From 19th-century cigar factories to present-day detention centers, from Cuba to Mexico, the novel follows Latina women of fierce pride and longing, all irrevocably linked by the inheritance of trauma and the stories passed between them. It is a haunting meditation on the choices of mothers and the tenacity of women who choose to tell their stories despite those who wish to silence them.

Garcia is the daughter of immigrants from Cuba and Mexico and grew up in Miami. She holds a BA in Sociology and Media Studies from Fordham University and worked as a feminist and migrant rights organizer for 10 years before pursuing an MFA in fiction from Purdue University. Garcia is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award and a Steinbeck Fellowship from San Jose State University. Her fiction and poems have been featured in Best American Poetry, Tin House, Zyzzyva, Iowa Review and elsewhere. Garcia lives in the San Francisco Bay area. 

“Garcia’s novel is a…stunningly accomplished first novel that is both epic and intimate.” —O Magazine.  “This riveting account will please readers of sweeping multigenerational stories.” —Publishers Weekly. “The novel is quietly heartbreaking.” —Booklist (starred review).  

Sarah Manguso

2022 PFWA

In Very Cold People, the narrator, Ruthie, looks back on her adolescence in the fictional Massachusetts town of Waitsfield, where the people are as cold and brittle as the New England winters. In spare, poetic fashion, Ruthie shares stories of neglect, poverty and sexual abuse. Very Cold People is a deeply moving account of one woman’s journey to free herself of the secrecy and shame of intergenerational trauma.

Manguso is the author of eight books of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Her nonfiction books are 300 Arguments, Ongoingness, The Guardians, and The Two Kinds of Decay, and her poetry collections are Siste Viator and The Captain Lands in Paradise. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Hodder Fellowship, and the Rome Prize. Born and raised in Massachusetts, she now lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches creative writing at Antioch University.

“Manguso’s attention to the chilliness and reservation of certain New Englanders crackles like a room-temperature beverage poured over ice.” —Washington Post. “Though dealing with life’s ugly, messy truths, her writing is compact and beautiful.” —New York Times.  “Manguso is an exquisitely astute writer.”—Boston Globe.  


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Hala Alyan

2022 PFWA

Hala Alyan illuminates the recent history of Lebanon and Syria through the personal tragedies and betrayals befalling one Arab American family in Arsonists’ CityThe Nasr family is spread across the globe— from Beirut to Brooklyn to the West Coast. A decision to sell their ancestral home brings the family to Beirut, where family members unite in a fight to save the house. They all have secrets that distance has helped smother, but in a city smoldering with the legacy of war, an ongoing flow of refugees, religious tension, and political protest, those secrets ignite, imperiling the fragile ties that hold this family together. Using her insights as a psychologist, Alyan points to patterns of secrecy and shame and the power of buried trauma to leap beyond displacement and time.

Alyan is the author of Salt Houses which won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the Arab American Book Award. She has also published four award-winning collections of poetry, including The Twenty-Ninth Year. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, LitHub and Guernica. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and works as a clinical psychologist.

“Plumbing the intricacies of race and womanhood, Alyan turns paragraphs into poetry.” –New York Times Book Review. “Feels revolutionary in its freshness.”- Entertainment Weekly. “A novel that at once breaks the heart and fills it with joy.”—Los Angeles Review of Books

Gabriela Garcia

2022 PFWA

Of Women and Salt is a sweeping, masterful debut about a daughter’s fateful choice, a mother motivated by her own past, and a family legacy that begins in Cuba before either of them was born. From 19th-century cigar factories to present-day detention centers, from Cuba to Mexico, the novel follows Latina women of fierce pride and longing, all irrevocably linked by the inheritance of trauma and the stories passed between them. It is a haunting meditation on the choices of mothers and the tenacity of women who choose to tell their stories despite those who wish to silence them.

Garcia is the daughter of immigrants from Cuba and Mexico and grew up in Miami. She holds a BA in Sociology and Media Studies from Fordham University and worked as a feminist and migrant rights organizer for 10 years before pursuing an MFA in fiction from Purdue University. Garcia is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award and a Steinbeck Fellowship from San Jose State University. Her fiction and poems have been featured in Best American Poetry, Tin House, Zyzzyva, Iowa Review and elsewhere. Garcia lives in the San Francisco Bay area. 

“Garcia’s novel is a…stunningly accomplished first novel that is both epic and intimate.” —O Magazine.  “This riveting account will please readers of sweeping multigenerational stories.” —Publishers Weekly. “The novel is quietly heartbreaking.” —Booklist (starred review).  

Sarah Manguso

2022 PFWA

In Very Cold People, the narrator, Ruthie, looks back on her adolescence in the fictional Massachusetts town of Waitsfield, where the people are as cold and brittle as the New England winters. In spare, poetic fashion, Ruthie shares stories of neglect, poverty and sexual abuse. Very Cold People is a deeply moving account of one woman’s journey to free herself of the secrecy and shame of intergenerational trauma.

Manguso is the author of eight books of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Her nonfiction books are 300 Arguments, Ongoingness, The Guardians, and The Two Kinds of Decay, and her poetry collections are Siste Viator and The Captain Lands in Paradise. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Hodder Fellowship, and the Rome Prize. Born and raised in Massachusetts, she now lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches creative writing at Antioch University.

“Manguso’s attention to the chilliness and reservation of certain New Englanders crackles like a room-temperature beverage poured over ice.” —Washington Post. “Though dealing with life’s ugly, messy truths, her writing is compact and beautiful.” —New York Times.  “Manguso is an exquisitely astute writer.”—Boston Globe.