I write for those who seek on the edges of contemporary American culture for a world more aligned with their inner ideals. Through fiction, I chronicle the beauties, pitfalls, and redemptions in choosing such a life. Studies in Zen, shamanism, and healing also deeply inform my work--but I'm not interested in the "spiritual bypass." I also see writing as being born out of relationship with particular landscapes, both environmental and cultural. Fiction can be an acupuncture needle, and a kind of geography.
In 2010, I received the Keene Prize for Literature for the short story "It's the song of the nomads, baby; or, Pioneer," about a young pregnant woman who goes off-grid in Taos, New Mexico. The story was also a finalist for Colorado Review's Nelligan Prize.
"Selling Eden," a long-form short story about a 75-year-old environmental activist widower in the Berkeley Hills, was a finalist in Narrative Magazine's 2016 Fall Story Contest.
Currently, I seek representation for my novel Detail in a Round Globe. A white woman in San Francisco's electronic music scene is diagnosed as HIV+. As her utopian, "neotribal" fantasies crumble, she flees the city in a mashup of grief and fate, following symbolic information that leads her to Nairobi. She tries to navigate a path via magical thinking, and fails, yet ultimately arrives in rural east Kenya. There, working alongside a local women's activist group, she is faced with her own privilege, the realities of tribal life on the modern-day planet, and her simultaneous need for and resistance to a deeper relationship with her own life. The novel has a cinematic, lyric style, and is about community and belonging in the age of globalization.
In 2005/6 I was the recipient of the first annual Writer's Travel Scholarship from the former www.equivocality.net. The award, given by a private patron (an early developer of WordPress who believes writing and travel are interconnected), was a free round-trip plane ticket anywhere in the world. At the time, I had written the first 35 pages of Detail in a Round Globe. I traveled to East Africa and worked for six months with HIV/AIDS nonprofits, both as volunteer service and as research for the novel.