I am primarily a novelist, and secondarily a screenwriter. Writing is first and formost process of discovery and as a novelist I like to follow my interests, especially when they lead me into strange or unexpected territories.
Marcel Duchamp said: “The artist performs only one part of the creative process. The onlooker completes it.” He also said: “It’s not what you see that is art; art is the gap.” These two quotes summarize my aim as a novelist: to put works out in the world that, when read, create a third thing in the space between book and reader that is unique to that interaction.
My debut novel The Readymade Thief is about a young woman at the center of a mystery involving the art of Marcel Duchamp, the dark net, urban exploration, and the shotgun marriage of alchemy and string theory. My screenplay Far From Cool was a finalist for the Academy Nicholl Fellowship. My current novel-in-progesss takes place in a San Francisco high school in the early 1980s.
Work with Students
I’ve advised everything from novels-in-progress to story collections to screenplays to a single-paragraph experimental novella. I don’t judge or discriminate according to genre, only by the quality of the work. I see it as my job to help students evolve and improve their own work as much as possible, according to a student’s own vision of where they want to take that work.
- Advanced Fiction Workshop: Narrative Structure and Character Arc
- Advanced Fiction Workshop: Narrative Questions & Character Revelation
- Advanced Fiction Workshop: Novel Writing, the First Chapters
- Technical Seminar in Fiction: Research and World-Building
- Technical Seminar in Fiction: Setting (Beyond) the Stage
- Intro to Genres: Crime & Story
- Fundamentals in Creative Writing: The Question of Perspective
- 2017. The Readymade Thief. New York: Viking Penguin
- 2017. “The Puzzles of Marcel Duchamp.” UK: Foyles
- 2018. “In Praise of the Unshelvable.” New York: Lit Hub
- 2018. Review of R.O. Kwon’s The Incendiaries. Chicago: Chicago Review of Books
MA, Creative Writing (Fiction), University of California, Davis; BA, Film Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara. Teaching at Chicago since 2009.