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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 latest 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

    One of the best thrillers I’ve encountered in a very, very long time, Dan Chaon’s latest novel will chill you to the bone and keep you guessing at every turn.


    Imagine the shower scene in Psycho, extended across 11 sections and three decades, with multiple unsolved mysteries. That’s the level of intensity Chaon achieves in this dark, provocative thriller.

    Reading a truly terrifying novel can make you feel like you’re drowning: As much as you may want to surface and catch your breath, the plot holds you in its grip. . . . As Chaon moves nimbly between viewpoints, calling memories and relationships into question, a powerful undercurrent of dread begins to form beneath the story, slowly but inexorably pulling you under.

    Entertainment Weekly

    If you’re up for being caught in a seamy heartland underbelly of fear, superstition, and paranoia, with side excursions through urban legend and recovered-memory hysteria, Ill Will is your book. . . . Chaon’s powers of description are impressive. . . . His knack for leaving sentences tellingly unfinished and thoughts menacingly incomplete . . . is perfect.

    –The Boston Globe

    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.


    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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