Fiction Committee

Sarah Shun-lien Bynum

Sarah Shun-lien Bynum is the author of two novels, Ms. Hempel Chronicles, a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award, and Madeleine Is Sleeping, a finalist for the 2004 National Book Award and winner of the Kafka Prize. Her fiction has appeared in several magazines and anthologies, including The New Yorker, Tin House, The Georgia Review, and The Best American Short Stories. The recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and an NEA Fellowship, she teaches writing and literature at the University of California, San Diego. She lives in Los Angeles with her family.

Lucy Corin

Lucy Corin is the author of two books of fiction: the short story collection The Entire Predicament (Tin House Books) and the novel Everyday Psychokillers: A History for Girls (FC2). She lives in Berkeley and is an Associate Professor in the English Department and Creative Writing Program at the University of California, Davis.

Cheryl Strayed, Chair

Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, Wild, will be published by Knopf in 2010. Her debut novel, Torch, was published by Houghton Mifflin in 2006 and was a finalist for the Great Lakes Book Award and was selected by The Oregonian as one of the top ten books of the year by writers from the Pacific Northwest. Strayed’s personal essays have appeared in more than a dozen magazines, including the New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine, Allure, Self, Brain Child, and The Sun and have twice been selected for inclusion in the Best American Essays. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and their two children (

A.J. Verdelle

A.J. Verdelle is a novelist, essayist, teacher, and mom. Prizes for her fiction include: Vursell Award for Distinguished Prose Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Whiting Writer’s Award, Los Angeles Times Fiction Finalist, PEN/Faulkner Finalist, the Lannan Foundation, and IMPAC/Dublin Fiction Finalist. A.J. Verdelle has taught undergraduates at Princeton University and graduate students in the MFA Programs at Vermont College and Lesley University (current). Verdelle’s essays are mostly about photography and photographs, published by the Whitney Museum of American Art (NY), Crown Books for the American Olympics Committee, and the Smithsonian Museum (Washington, DC). Verdelle’s first novel, The Good Negress (Harper/Algonquin) is currently in its sixteenth printing, having been continuously in print since 1995. The Good Negress has been adopted in college courses nationally. Verdelle’s second novel is under contract to Penguin/Putnam and will be released in 2010. Verdelle’s musings on motherhood can be found in the essay “Complex Mathematics,” in the book Rise Up Singing: Essays on Motherhood (Cecelie Berry, editor).

Leni Zumas

Leni Zumas is the author of the story collection Farewell Navigator (Open City Books). Her work has appeared most recently in Salt Hill, Gigantic, New York Tyrant, Quarterly West, Harp & Altar, and New Orleans Review. A 2008 Fellow in Fiction from the New York Foundation for the Arts and a 2008-2009 Artist-in-Residence in the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace program, Zumas has been awarded fellowships by Yaddo, Hedgebrook, and the MacDowell Colony. She has taught creative writing at the University of Massachusetts, Hunter College, and Columbia University.


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