Chris has published a number poems in literary journals and is currently working on BEHIND THE BOOKS: HOW DEBUT AUTHORS NAVIGATE FROM THE IDEA TO THE END, forthcoming from University of Chicago Press. BEHIND THE BOOKS profiles the life history and publication path of 11 recently published books across multiple genres and publishing choices. He is also working on a novel.

Three things to know about Chris:

He has an MFA in poetry, but he almost exclusively write prose these days.
  • He used to be a martyr for books, finishing even the most painful of books, but as reading lists get longer and he gets older, he's pretty quick to abandon a book that isn't lighting his lamp. He keeps a pile of abandoned books to sort of keep track, and this year alone, he's abandoned more than ten books. Don't ask which books, though, he won't tell.
  • He grew up with a severely disabled brother who died at 19, and the alternate ways his family learned to communicate has strongly influenced his interest in reading, writing, and storytelling.

Five books Chris couldn't live without:(As a disclaimer, Chris and his wife have a whole "red room" dedicated to bookshelves in their house, and it isn't large enough for all of their books. Choosing only five was too hard!)
  • Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton.
  • Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
  • Both The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood and Stephen King's Gunslinger series.
  • Wonder by R. J. Palacio,
  • Citizen by Claudia Rankine,
  • The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
  • H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel