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For this World Series edition, we turn our pages once again, following Litro #108’s visit there, to the USA. America, that slippery beast. One nation, one constitution, one currency; a framework for arguably the most diverse, remarkable and undefinable country in the world – where short stories are something of a specialty: in 1962 Frank O’Connor described them as America’s national art form. This issue is crafted to take you off-course to territories new and unexplored, both on and off the road.
Anthony Doerr is the author of four books: Memory Wall, The Shell Collec- tor, About Grace, and Four Seasons in Rome. His writing has won numerous prizes, including four O. Henry Prizes, the Rome Prize, the New York Pub- lic Library’s Young Lions Award, the National Magazine Award for fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Story Prize in the U.S., and the Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award. In 2007, Granta put Doerr on its list of Best Young American Novelists.
Jess Row was born in 1974 in Washington, DC. After graduating from Yale in 1997, he taught English for two years as a Yale-China fellow at the Chinese Uni- versity of Hong Kong. He completed an MFA at the University of Michigan in 2001. His first book, The Train to Lo Wu, a collection of short stories set in Hong Kong, was published in 2005; in 2006 it was shortlisted for the PEN/Hemingway Award and was a finalist for the Kiriyama Prize. In 2007 he was named a ‘Best Young American Novelist’ by Granta. His second collection of stories, Nobody Ever Gets Lost, was published by FiveChapters Books in February 2011. His stories have appeared in The Atlantic, Tin House, Conjunctions, Boston Review, Ploughshares, Granta, American Short Fiction, Threepenny Review, Ontario Review, Harvard Review, and elsewhere, have been anthologized three times in The Best American Short Stories (‘The Call of Blood’ will appear in BASS 2011) and have won two Pushcart Prizes and a PEN/O.Henry Award. He has also received an NEA fellowship in fiction and a Whiting Writers Award. His nonfiction and criticism appear often in The New Republic, The New York Times Book Review, and Threepenny Review. His current projects include a novel, The Immigrant, a third collection of stories, Storyknife, and an anthol- ogy of critical writings on the short story, On Being Short.
Fred Voss, a machinist for 32 years, has had three collections of poetry published by Bloodaxe Books. He is regularly published in magazines such as Poetry Review, Ambit, Atlanta Review and Pearl, and has twice been the subject of programmes about his poetry on BBC Radio 4. Fred is regularly invited to read in the UK, including the Ledbury Poetry Festival, and in 2011 he and his wife, poet Joan Jobe Smith, were featured readers at the University of Pittsburgh.
Simone Felice is a celebrated songwriter and poet. He is a founding member of internationally acclaimed acts The Felice Brothers and The Duke & The King. Italy has recently presented him with the 2010 Premio Ciampi award for Best Foreign Songwriter. Simone lives in the Catskill Mountains, New York, USA. BLACK JESUS is his first novel. For more information please visit www.SimoneFelice.com
Geoff Nicholson’s novels include Bleeding London and Footsucker, and he is the author of the non-fiction book The Lost Art of Walking. He currently lives in Los Angeles and blogs as The Hollywood Walker: http://hollywoodwalker.blogspot.com/
Tony Concannon grew up in Massachusetts. After graduating from college with a B.A. in English and American Literature, he taught in Japan for the next 18 years. Since returning to the United States, he has been working in human ser- vices. Stories of his have appeared in Thought Magazine, The Taproot Literary Review and Down in the Dirt.
Geoff Dyer is an English writer. He has authored a number of novels and books of non-fiction, which have won literary awards and been translated into 24 languages.