Biography

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Photo by @eggandart

I was born an unexpected footnote in the mid-90s Chicago punk scene when my band was discovered at the Fireside Bowl. By the time I was 20 I had played CBGB and had had my first CD mastered at Abbey Road studios. I went to school a few years later than most as a result. I studied in Paris for a semester, where I was first introduced to writers from North Africa and the Middle East who work primarily in French. What ensued in the next decade was more music, translation and editing work, graduate school, and lots more time in Paris, living in Ménilmontant, near Place de Clichy, off Canal St. Martin, and in Aubervilliers.

Today, I live with my daughter in the historic district of Oak Park, Illinois, fulfilling the dream of living within five minutes of public transportation, a public library, and a fine independent bookstore. I hold a PhD in French from University of Michigan and an MFA in fiction from the Bennington Writing Seminars, and I was a 2020 BookEnds Fellow at StonyBrook Southampton. I teach at the University of Illinois—Chicago, and I’m also a freelance editor.