Lit Fest Visiting Authors at a Glance (Fiction)

Jami Attenberg is the author of a collection of short stories, Instant Love (“a funny, perceptive debut”), and six novels: The Kept Man (“she writes of longing and mourning with extraordinary heart”), The Melting Season (“intelligent, moving portrait”), The Middlesteins (“caustic, entertaining and big-hearted”), Saint Mazie (“a relentless energy”), All Grown Up (“A wickedly funny and honest portrayal of love, ambition, sex-and the city”),  and All This Could Be Yours (“an oddly sparkling master of warped family sagas”). 

Her books have been finalists for both the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction and the St. Francis College Literary Prize, and have appeared in 16 languages. She also has a thing for custom bookshelves (don’t we all?), and would love to tell you about her gluttonous dog, Sid. 

Her weekend intensive will focus on building your book’s grand entrance. Learn more here

Robin Black is the author of a short story collection, If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This (“Black delivers real emotion”), a novel, Life Drawing (“provocative, filled with glimpses of the nastiness that makes us human”), and a nonfiction collection, Crash Course: Essays From Where Writing and Life Collide (“the perfect person to write about the...vagaries of ‘living a life of profound uncertainty’”).

Her work has been a finalist for the Frank O’Connor International Story Prize, longlisted for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, the Impac Dublin Literature Prize, and the Folio Prize, and appeared in five languages. She’s written widely about the writer’s life.

Her weeklong workshop (nonfiction writers are also welcome to apply) will focus on deepening participants' understanding of a number of craft issues. Learn more here

Peter Orner is the author of three short story collections: Esther Stories (“Orner doesn't simply bring his characters to life, he gives them souls”), Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge (“the most memorable moments...are located in the emotional pull of the prose itself.”), and Maggie Brown & Others (“these stories...seem to stretch in time beyond the space they take up”); two novels: The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo (“Orner's poetic, episodic examination of the varieties of life”), and Love and Shame and Love (“lyrical and introspective”); and the essay collection Am I Alone Here?: Notes on Reading To Live and Living to Read (“Orner is excruciatingly present with his feelings”).

He’s also the editor of three non-fiction books/oral histories for the Voice of Witness Series, a two-time recipient of the Pushcart Prize, and winner of the Rome Prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He’s written, among many things, an elegy to a beloved pet and on oral histories in post-earthquake Haiti

His weeklong workshop will focus on those indelible moments that stick in a reader’s mind long after finishing a book. Learn more here

Justin Torres is the author of We the Animals (“readers...are hearing something new, something strong and something very self-assured”), has published short fiction in The New Yorker, Harper's, Granta, Tin House, The Washington Post, Glimmer Train, Flaunt, and other publications, as well as non-fiction in publications like The Guardian and The Advocate

He’s written candidly about family members experiencing homelessness and the job of dog-walking. His novel We the Animals was adapted to an award-winning film.

His weekend intensive will weave ambivalence and negative capability with an eye towards preventing work from becoming too fixed. Learn more here.

Garth Greenwell is the author of What Belongs To You (“how perfectly it fulfills its ambitions”) and Cleanness (“incandescent”). His short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, A Public Space, and VICE, and he has written criticism for The New Yorker, the London Review of Books, and the New York Times Book Review, among others. His first novel was longlisted for the National Book Award.

He’s writen about the poetics of cruising, the poetry of Frank Bidart, and making art as failure

His weeklong workshop will explore the deceivingly simple notion of voice. Learn more here.

Sheila Heti is the author of The Middle Stories (“With Heti, whimsy coexists with the angst and paralysis borne of disappointment”), How Should a Person Be? (“Heti truly has a startling voice all her own, and a fresh take on fiction and autobiography’s overlap”), and Motherhood (“earthy and philosophical and essential”), among others, and co-edited the fashion tome Women in Clothes

Watch her discuss how she got her start here, or read some of her many, many interviews with artists here.

Her workshop will help participants develop their writing process into a more generative, productive part of their lives. Learn more here.

Akhil Sharma is the author of two novels An Obedient Father (“Sharma’s genius in this novel is how he makes the personal and political reflect on each other.”) and Family Life (“deeply unnerving and gorgeously tender at its core”), as well as the short story collection, A Life of Adventure and Delight (“prose redolent with the emotional realities of his characters”). 

Watch him talk about his first novel here, and read about how, before he was a writer, he was a banker

His weeklong workshop will help participants fine-tune their plot. Learn more here.