Nebraska Authors

Dan Chaon

Born 1964 Brownson, NE (USA)

Chaon grew up in a village of 20 people outside of Sidney, Nebraska. The Nebraska landscape deeply influenced his writing. He notes, "The hills and stubble fields and roads of my early years are so deeply imprinted on me that I can call them up more easily than I can any other place. ...I didn't love growing up in Nebraska. I always longed to get out, to see the bigger world, and I mostly felt out of place and freakish, as if God had played a cruel trick on me by putting me in Brownson. But it was a mean trick that influenced my life and turned me into a writer."
As a middle schooler, Chaon wrote a fan letter to Ray Bradbury, beginning a correspondence that continued for several years. His novels pay homage to Bradbury as well as Peter Straub, Shirley Jackson and Stephen King.

Chaon has been a finalist for the National Book Award, and has won numerous other awards. Await Your Reply was a New York Times Notable Book and appeared on many best book of the year lists for 2009.

Places Lived

Sidney, NE
Brownson, NE
Evanston, IL
Syracuse, NY
Oberlin, OH
Athens, OH

Author Of

  • Fiction

Keywords

Novels; Short Stories

Education

Bachelor of Arts Degree, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
Master of Fine Arts Degree, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY

Occupation

Assistant Professor of English, Ohio State University, Athens, OH
Creative Writing Instructor, Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH

Places Worked

Ohio State University, Athens, OH
Oblerin College, Oberlin, OH

Honors

Awarded Grant by the Ohio Arts Council
Finalist for the 2001 National Book Award for short story collection, Among the Missing
Await Your Reply was on the ALA/RUSA Notable Books List
Raymond Carver Memorial Award
2006 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters
Work included in the Best American Short Stories, Pushcart Prize and O. Henry collections

Bibliography

Fitting Ends and Other Stories. 1995.
Among the Missing. 2001.
You Remind Me of Me. 2004.
Await Your Reply. 2009.
Stay Awake. 2012.
Ill Will. 2017.

We appreciate corrections and additions to our information about authors, but please read the following guidelines and caveats carefully.

  • The Nebraska Authors database is based on publicly available sources. Unless you are the author contacting us in person, it helps us if you cite the source or sources of your information. We cannot include unsourced information in the database.
  • We may be appreciative of information we choose not to include in the publicly available database.
  • To include an image on an author profile, please send jpg attachment to nebraskaauthors@lincolnlibraries.org. A photo-release agreement is required before the image will be published on this site.
  • Because of the way we are staffed, expect corrections or additions to take time, sometimes up to three months.
  • While we initially included some actual links to external URLs in the database, we will in the future no longer provide functioning links. We will instead record the presence of specific external materials in language that we hope will help intelligent users find it themselves. Web rot, in which actual materials remain online but undergo changes in their URLs, is too demanding in terms of staff time for us to hope to keep external links current.

Do you have corrections for the above information or other information to add?