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Antonya Nelson

Antonya Nelson is one of the most widely acclaimed short-story writers working today. Considered a master of the domestic drama, her stories often explore familial bonds and the inherent tensions that arise in our closest relationships. “Most of what one feels compelled to write stems from a deep emotional uncertainty,” Nelson told the Missouri Review in a 2000 interview. “I think about and study people. I think I make people uneasy sometimes by being so curious as to why they do what they do.”

Noted for her vivid, hyperrealist characters, Nelson finds herself at home in the story form, often depicting unnerving psychological complexities within mere paragraphs. The New York Times has said of Nelson,“[she] never chafes against the limitations of her chosen form, the realistic, well-made story. It’s the ideal medium for a writer who isn’t afraid to remind us of the familiar, who values insight over epiphany.”

Nelson is the author of seven short story collections and four novels. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, Esquire, Harper’s, Redbook, and many other magazines, as well as in anthologies such as Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, The Pushcart Prize, and Best American Short Stories. Her books have been New York Times Notable Books of 1992, 1996, 1998, 2000, and 2002. She was named in 1999 by the New Yorker as one of the “twenty young fiction writers for the new millennium.” She is the recipient of the 2003 Rea Award for Short Fiction, as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Selected Bibliography

The Expendables (1990)
Family Terrorists (1994)
Talking in Bed (1996)
Living to Tell (2000)
Female Trouble (2002)
Nothing Right (2009)
Funny Once (2014)

Online Resources

Antonya Nelson interviewed in the New Yorker
Nelson interviewed in American Short Fiction