Peter Orner

Peter Orner was born in Chicago and is the author of three novels: Esther Stories (Houghton Mifflin, 2001), The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo (Little, Brown, 2006), and his most recent, Love and Shame and Love (Little, Brown, 2011) which was recently called epic by Daniel Handler, "...epic like Gilgamesh, epic like a guitar solo." (Orner has since bought Gilgamesh and is enjoying it.) Love and Shame and Love is illustrated throughout by his brother Eric Orner, a comic artist and illustrator whose long time independent/​alt weekly strip The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life of Ethan Green was made into a feature film in 2008. Eric Orner's work is featured this year in Best American Cartoons edited by Alison Bechdel. A film version of one of Orner's stories, The Raft, is currently in production and stars Ed Asner.The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo, a Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and a San Francisco Chronicle Best-Seller, won the Bard Fiction Prize. The novel is being translated into French, Dutch, Italian, and German. The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo is set in Namibia where Orner lived and worked in the early 1990's.Esther Stories was awarded the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Goldberg Prize for Jewish Fiction, and was a Finalist for the Pen Hemingway Award and the New York Public Library's Young Lions Award.Orner is also the editor of two non-fiction books, Underground America (2008) and Hope Deferred: Narratives of Zimbabwean Lives (co-editor Annie Holmes, 2010), both published by McSweeney's/​ Voice of Witness, an imprint devoted to using oral history to illuminate human rights crises around the world. Harper's Magazine wrote, "Hope Deferred might be the most important publication out of Zimbabwe in the past thirty years."Orner has published fiction in the Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review, McSweeney's, The Southern Review, and various other publications. Stories have been anthologized in Best American Stories and the Pushcart Prize Annual. Orner has been awarded fellowships from the Guggenheim and Lannan Foundations.Orner has taught at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop (Visiting Professor, 2011), University of Montana (William Kittredge Visting Writer, 2009), the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College (2009) Washington University (Visiting Hurst Professor, 2008), Bard College (Bard Fiction Prize Fellowship, 2007), Miami University (Visting Professor, 2002), Charles University in Prague (Visting Law Faculty, 2000). Orner is a long time permanent faculty member at San Francisco State where he is an associate professor. He would like to divide his time between a lot of places, especially San Francisco and Chicago.
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