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, during the summer of 2005, in Aubervilliers at the home a friend whose family hails from Tizi-Ouzou, the Kabyle hub of Algeria.
I received my PhD in French from University of Michigan in 2011, and taught for several years before I turned full-time to writing and freelance editing. I am the author of The Performance of Listening in Contemporary Francophone Culture (2018, Liverpool University Press) and I have had short creative works, essays on teaching, and literary craft essays published in several places. I’m also a contributing editor at Fiction Writers Review, and an MFA candidate in the Bennington Writing Seminars, where I am working on a novel about a Chicago indie rock band in therapy.