Ken Kalfus, who Salon calls "a writer of chameleonic fluency," writes novels and stories that address modern living in America through his unique perspective of having spent extensive time abroad. His latest novel, a dark comedy that follows the unraveling of a marriage in the aftermath of 9/11, earned a 2006 National Book Award nomination.
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Date of Birth:
April 9, 1954
Place of Birth:
Bronx, New York
The New School for Social Research, Sarah Lawrence College, New York University
Salon Fiction Award for Thirst, 1999; Village Voice Writer on the Verge, 1999
|A Writer's Rituals|
|In our interview, we asked Kalfus to tell us about any special writing rituals he might have. "I perform a single ritual that I perform every time before I write," he reveals. "I crawl under my desk and disconnect my DSL."|
|An Acclaimed Collection||Kalfus's Reading Recommendations|
Kalfus's first work of fiction, this collection of 14 tales is an interesting mix of settings, characters, and themes. Drawing from his extensive experiences abroad, Kalfus presents funny and poignant portraits of people caught in the cultural shifts that disrupt their lives. The stories "draw our eyes to structures and considerations usually associated with European and South American fabulists, not American writers born in the Bronx," observed The New York Times.
We also asked Kalfus to tell us about his all-time favorite books. "The entire Rabbit series stands as a monument to a certain generation, living a certain way of life in a certain country, and is one of the greatest achievements in American literature," he explains of John Updike's classic series. Read our interview to learn more about Kalfus's must-reads, including: