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The Bell at the End of a Rope

These 14 stories share a subject - children and childhood - along with a taste for the unfamilar. I hope that like my other stories, novels, and essays, they expose readers to dark events via a playful and sensual perspective, exploring the mysterious, eccentric aspects of all our lives and how they sometimes cause us to go astray.


I began this novel in honor of a friend whose mother died in childbirth. Then, as happens with novels, many new characters intervened. Some people find this a little confusing, but I'm happy to think that ghosts, by nature, are confused...and so are their novels! First published by Scribner in 2000,POLLY'S GHOST can now be purchased as an Authors Guild edition.


The writing of this novel was compelled by a local museum fire, and the discovery of a lump in my breast. Fact became fiction, resulting in a story Julia Glass calls "exquisitely strange...It bushwacks, in hilarious detail, through private female terrain." I liked viewing the museum dolls after the fire; they lay in their boxes like charred talismans.


Writing ARE YOU MINE?, I was determined to embrace a charged realism by which my heroine might give voice to issues surrounding pregnancy, childbirth, and abortion. I began the book by feverishly taking notes during the delivery of my son. That chapter, THRONE OF BLOOD was anthologized in Gloria Norris’ Seasons of Women.


I began writing LICORICE during a lush Ohio summer; the air suffused with something I imagined as longing. This was a seductive process; I wrote out of a haze of shapeless, but literate, yearning. Much later, a reader confessed that the book was partly responsible for the end of her marriage.

Fruit of the Month

My first collection of stories, winner of the Iowa Short Fiction Prize.


This was my first novel, a look at six people, many of them strangers to each other, whose paths cross during the separation and rejuvenation of a marriage. The world of SNAP is skewed, oddball, surreal, and I remember that to write it felt playful and strange, as if I had entered an intricate hall of mirrors.