Bio

Sharon Solwitz’s first collection of stories, Blood and Milk (Sarabande, 1997), won the 1998 Carl Sandburg Prize from Friends of the Chicago Public Library, the prize for adult fiction from the Society of Midland Authors, and was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. Her short stories, published in such magazines as TriQuarterly, Mademoiselle, and Ploughshares, have won numerous awards, including the Pushcart Prize, the Katherine Anne Porter Prize, and grants and fellowships from the Illinois Arts Council.Recipient of the 1998 Society of Midland Authors Award and the 1997 Carl Sandburg Award, Friends of the Chicago Public Library. Finalist of the 1997 National Jewish Book Award.

“Women who are prickly, sharp-witted, and high-strung, who tend to quip about their emotional pain and to act self-destructively, are the protagonists of the 11 fine short stories in Solwitz’s first collection. . . . Most achieve insights the hard way—after independent, even rash actions that sometimes bring pain.” —Publishers Weekly

“Solwitz’s debut collection is trenchant and unnerving. She specializes in dislocation, dysfunction, and distress as she writes about the imperfect emotional fit between men and women, cultural displacement, and madness both personal and societal. . . . Indeed, as Solwitz traces the jagged edges of our collective soul, she reminds us that even home can become a foreign country.”
Starred Review in Booklist

“A flair for dark comedy and the ability to turn on a dime are prized qualities for these unpredictable characters; time and again, their intrepid investigations lead them into uncharted territory where bizarre dramatic action seems to be the only possible move. Solwitz’s fine-toothed examinations of complex emotional states are dead on. . . . ” —The New York Times Book Review

Sharon Solwitz has been winning short story prizes for years—it’s about time we get to see all her characters gathered between covers. They are a lively and challenging crowd, full of intelligence, charm, and tendencies toward self-destruction and self-realization that make them stunningly recognizable. Their complex lives pose emotional and moral quandaries hard to dismiss and hard to put behind us at stories’ end. Solwitz has wit, passion, and the remarkable ventriloquial skill to throw interior voices we might never otherwise hear.”
Rosellen Brown, author of Before and After

Bloody Mary (Sarabande, inc. 2003)

After her debut with the widely praised stories in Blood and Milk, Sharon Solwitz offers up her first, darkly radiant, full-length novel. Bloody Mary, which takes its title from the childhood game, tells the story of socially adept, 12-year-old Hadley and her protective mother. They live a privileged life in the Chicago neighborhood of Lakeview, but soon find themselves in a state of chaos and flux.             –Starred review in Booklist.

Sharon lives in Chicago with her husband, poet Barry Silesky, and works as fiction editor of Another Chicago Magazine.

An Associate Professor of English, she teaches fiction at Purdue University in W. Lafayette, Indiana, where their son Seth Silesky is a senior.

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