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Dan Chaon

National Book Award finalist and bestselling author of literary novels and short story collections

  • About Dan Chaon

    A gifted and haunting storyteller with his finger on the pulse of modern consciousness, National Book Award finalist and bestselling author Dan Chaon spellbinds his audiences—readers and critics alike—from universities and colleges, to Community and One Book festivals and literary events across the country. His best-known short story collection, Among the Missing, was nominated for the National Book Award, while his subsequent novels, You Remind Me of Me and Await Your Reply, have been honored on best-of-the-year lists nationwide. His fiction has appeared in such prestigious journals and anthologies as the Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. His most recent collection of short stories, Stay Awake, was a finalist for the 2012 Story Prize.

    Chaon’s forthcoming book Ill Will is a haunting suspense novel about the failures of memory and the perils of self-deception. In this intimate thriller, a psychologist is unwillingly embroiled in two spectacular unsolved murders—one past and one present. In chilling prose, Chaon showcases his illuminating literary talent and solidifies his reputation as one of today’s most accomplished practitioners of literary suspense.

    As the Pauline M. Delaney Professor of Creative Writing at Oberlin College, Chaon is an insightful and engaging speaker. His discussions range from the subjects explored in his body of work to his unique approach to the craft of writing.

  • Speaking Topics

    Dreaming Awake: The Process of Creating Fictional Worlds

    Short Story Writing vs. Novel Writing: A Short Guide

    The Future of the Book in a Digital Age

    Walking in a Stranger's Shoes: Creating Characters

    13 Ways of Writing a Short Story

    What Ghost Stories Tell Us About Contemporary Life

  • Video

  • Praise for Dan Chaon

    It couldn’t have gone better. We knew Dan was a good writer, but it’s really the amiability and accessibility of the authors that make our event. We couldn’t have asked for more from Dan. He seemed to enjoy his time here, and we certainly enjoyed getting to know him. Substance with style.

    Angelo State University

    Praise for Ill Will

    Dan Chaon was already a master of the short story well before he wrote his tense and delightfully twisted thriller, Await Your Reply. Ill Will finds Chaon back in thriller territory, with an even more propulsive narrative. It’s one of those books that looks big and heavy, but with pacing so tight it will likely only take a couple of days to read.


    Dan Chaon’s new novel is subtly, steadily unnerving—like a scalpel slipping under your skin and prying it, ever so slowly, from the muscle beneath. Ill Will is a dark Mobius strip of a thriller that will leave you questioning what’s perceived and what’s imagined, and whether the reverberations of tragedy ever truly come to an end.

    Celeste Ng, New York Times bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You

    This novel is brilliant, beautiful, and terrifying. Dan Chaon has written a tender, masterful family story and injected it with a cardiac arrest of a plot. Ill Will keeps you up late into the night, swelling your heart and turning your blood to ice.

    Lily King, New York Times bestselling author of Euphoria

    Praise for Stay Awake

    Eerily beautiful...[Chaon] is the modern day John Cheever.

    Boston Sunday Globe

    Powerful and disturbing...The shocks in this collection are many.

    The Washington Post
  • Books by Dan Chaon

  • Media About Dan Chaon

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  • 212 572-2013
  • Dan Chaon travels from Cleveland, OH

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