Photograph by Kristen Papac

Photograph by Kristen Papac

I grew up in the green and rolling hills of the Midwest. Currently, I live in Los Angeles, California with my husband and daughter, where I teach writing at UCLA. I'm the author of the novels Evergreen (forthcoming from Knopf in 2014) and The Bird Sisters (Crown, 2011). My stories have appeared in or have won prizes from TriQuarterly, The Mid-American Review, Narrative Magazine, Glimmer Train, and elsewhere.  

In addition to writing, I'm reading some wonderful books these days (I loved Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan and Once Upon A River by Bonnie Jo Campbell), and I'm running up and down the hills in my neighborhood daily. I also love to bake pies (gluten free now because of Celiac disease). Raspberry. Blueberry. Peach. This is only miraculous because I essentially grew up in a microwave. Because of this, I am interested in all things old and outdated. I love to think about hope chests and house dresses. Sideboards are big ones, too. I'm always on the brink of trying to put up jam like my great grandmother used to do. 

I have to admit that Los Angeles is the last place in the world I thought I would be writing from, but I love it here, too. Just the other day, I was walking around UCLA hunting for jasmine blossoms in the bushes between buildings. There is beauty everywhere. (And jam at the Santa Monica farmers' market! And succulent gardens! Homesteaders by land or sea!) All you have to do is look.