Dan Chaon

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Dan Chaon
Chaon at the 2017 Texas Book Festival
Chaon at the 2017 Texas Book Festival
Sidney, Nebraska
OccupationNovelist, short story writer
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materNorthwestern University
Syracuse University
Notable worksIll Will
Await Your Reply
Among the Missing
Notable awards2006 Academy Award for Literature, American Academy of Arts and Letters
Finalist, National Magazine Award in Fiction
Finalist, National Book Award

Dan Chaon is an American writer. He is the author of three short story collections and three novels, including Among the Missing, which was a 2001 finalist for the National Book Award. Chaon's stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize Anthologies, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. His 2017 novel, Ill Will, was named one of the best books of the year by publications including The New York Times,[1] the Los Angeles Times,[2] and Publishers Weekly. [3] It was nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award, Locus Award, and International Thriller Writers Award.[4][5][6]

Chaon taught at Oberlin College, where he was the Pauline Delaney Professor of Creative Writing and Literature before retiring in 2018.[7][8][9] His former students include Ishmael Beah, Megan Kruse, Emma Straub, Rumaan Alam, Edan Lepucki and Lena Dunham.[9][10][11][12]

Among the Missing was named as one of the year's ten best books by the American Library Association, as a notable book of the year by The New York Times. His third short story collection, Stay Awake, was a finalist for The Story Prize.[13]


Chaon was adopted and grew up in a village of 20 people outside of Sidney, Nebraska. His father was a construction worker and his mother was a stay-at-home mom. As a middle schooler, Chaon wrote a fan letter to Ray Bradbury, beginning a correspondence that continued for several years.

Chaon lives in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. He has two sons. His wife of 20 years was the writer Sheila Schwartz. She died of ovarian cancer in 2008.[14][15]



  • You Remind Me of Me (2004)
  • Await Your Reply (2009)
  • Ill Will (2017)

Short story collections[edit]

  • Fitting Ends (1996)
  • Among the Missing (2001)
  • Stay Awake (2012)


  1. ^ "100 Notable Books of 2017". The New York Times. November 22, 2017. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  2. ^ Books, LA Times. "Best books of 2017: The best fiction". latimes.com. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  3. ^ "Best Books 2017 Publishers Weekly". PublishersWeekly.com. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  4. ^ "The Shirley Jackson Awards » 2017 Shirley Jackson Awards Nominees". www.shirleyjacksonawards.org. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  5. ^ "2018 Locus Awards Finalists". Locus Online. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  6. ^ "2018 Thriller Awards – International Thriller Writers". thrillerwriters.org. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  7. ^ Mosle, Sarah (July 10, 2004). "There's No Place That's Home". New York Times. Retrieved May 30, 2016.
  8. ^ Charles, Ron (August 26, 2009). "Dan Chaon's 'Await Your Reply'". Washington Post. Retrieved May 30, 2016.
  9. ^ a b Barbash, Tom. "Dan Chaon (Writer)". The Believer (Fall 2015). Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  10. ^ Dirda, Michael Emerson (January 20, 2010). "Celebrated Author and Oberlin Professor Dan Chaon Makes his Mark on Aspiring Writers". oberlin.edu. Oberlin. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  11. ^ Mead, Rebecca (November 15, 2010). "Downtown's Daughter". The New Yorker. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  12. ^ Dirda, Michael Emerson. "Want to write? Celebrated author Dan Chaon suggests reading". Oberlin Alumni. Oberlin Alumni Magazine. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  13. ^ Almond, Steve (August 23, 2009). "'Await Your Reply: A Novel' by Dan Chaon". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  14. ^ "Full circle: Novel's debut brings closure for writer's family and friends". cleveland.com. Retrieved April 28, 2018.
  15. ^ "What Happened to Sheila". The Rumpus.net. January 8, 2009. Retrieved April 28, 2018.

External links[edit]