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Acclaimed writer Charles D’Ambrosio visits ASU

March 15, 2010


Charles D’Ambrosio has received high praise from both critics and fellow authors during his career. None higher than Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon, who proclaimed “no one today writes better short stories” following the release of D’Ambrosio’s second book, “The Dead Fish Museum,” in 2006.

D’Ambrosio will be on ASU's Tempe campus March 25 as part of the 2009-2010 Distinguished Visiting Writers Series, sponsored by the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing.

D’Ambrosio will discuss his work at a public craft Q&A from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., in the Piper Writers House, on the Tempe campus. That evening at 7:30 p.m. he will read his work and sign books in Pima Auditorium (room 230) in the Memorial Union on the Tempe campus. Both events are free.

“The Dead Fish Museum” is a collection of eight short stories that have been described as “burnished, terrifying and masterfully crafted.” The stories take place in remote cabins, asylums, Indian reservations and the streets of Seattle, and are about people who have been orphaned, who have lost connection and who have exhausted the ability to generate meaning in their lives.

Yet, as reviewers have written, “in the midst of lacerating difficulty, the sensibility at work in these fictions boldly insists on the enduring power of love.”

The book is the March selection of the Piper Online Book Club.

D’Ambrosio grew up in Seattle and now lives in Portland, Ore. He attended Oberlin College and graduated from the Iowa Writers Workshop, where he has been a visiting faculty member. He is also an instructor at the Tin House Summer Writers Workshop and the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers.

He has published two collections of short stories, "The Point" and "The Dead Fish Museum" and a collection of essays titled “Orphans.” Six of the eight stories in “The Dead Fish Museum” were originally published in The New Yorker. The book was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and was awarded the 2007 Washington State Book Award for Fiction.

For more information about either event, contact the Piper Center for Creative Writing, (480) 965-6018, or