Greg Hrbek

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Greg Hrbek
OccupationAuthor, writer
Notable worksNot on Fire, But Burning

Greg Hrbek is an American fiction author and educator.

Early years[edit]

Hrbek graduated from Kent School in Kent, Connecticut in 1986.


After earning a Bachelor of Arts from Vassar College in 1990, Hrbek taught kindergarten for three years in San Francisco and New York City, before studying for a Master of Fine Arts degree in English at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, which he completed in 1995. The University of Iowa awarded him an Iowa Arts Fellowship, and he won a James A. Michener Fellowship in 1995, which allowed him to write in California for a year, before returning to Vassar to teach half time in the English Department.[1][2][3]

From 1999-2000, Hrbek taught fiction writing full-time at Butler University, then was awarded the year 2000 Alfred Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University, where he lived as fiction writer in residence.[3][4] Since 2001, Hrbek has been teaching fiction writing courses as Writer-in-Residence at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, where he lives with his wife, son and daughter.[1][5][6]


In 1996, at the age of 27, Hrbek won the James Jones First Novel Award for his first novel in progress, The Hindenburg Crashes Nightly, a complex story of obsessive, lifelong love.[2] He had worked on this book for two years at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and in California, and at Vassar while teaching.[3] It was published in 1999 by Bard/Avon (ISBN 978-0380977413), and was widely reviewed, favorably by Publishers Weekly and Atlanta Journal-Constitution, mixed by The New York Times and Rocky Mountain News.[7][8][9][10]

Since 1999, Hrbek has written short fiction, with stories appearing in Harper's Magazine, Salmagundi, Idaho Review, Conjunctions, and Black Warrior Review. His short story "Green World" (Harper's), was a finalist for the 1999 National Magazine Award in Fiction. "Bereavement" was a finalist for the 2007 Robert Olen Butler Prize,[11] while "The Cliffs at Marpi" was a finalist for the 2006 Bridport Prize,[12] each appearing in the respective anthologies. "Sagittarius" was a selection for The Best American Short Stories 2009. A collection of these short stories, Destroy All Monsters, was published by Bison Books in 2011, ISBN 978-0-8032-3644-8.[13] It won the 2010 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction.[6]


  • The Hindenburg Crashes Nightly (1996)
  • Destroy All Monsters, and Other Stories (2011)
  • Not on Fire, But Burning (2015)


  1. ^ a b "Award-winning faculty author to give reading", Scope Magazine, Skidmore College, 11/12/2010. Retrieved 2011-11-16.
  2. ^ a b "Vassar Instructor Receives 1996 First Novel Award", The James Jones Literary Society Newsletter, Vol. 6, No. 2, Winter 1996. Retrieved 2011-11-16.
  3. ^ a b c "About Books", by Amy Arner Sgarro, Vassar, the Alumnae/i Quarterly, Vassar College, Summer 2000, Volume 96, Issue 3. Retrieved 2011-11-16.
  4. ^ "Faculty Fellowships, Lectureships, Prizes, and Awards", Princeton University. Retrieved 2011-11-22.
  5. ^ "Greg Hrbek: Writer-in-Residence", English Department, Skidmore College. Retrieved 2011-11-22.
  6. ^ a b "Prairie Schooner Book Prize winners announced", James Engelhardt, English department, University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Retrieved 2011-11-22.
  7. ^ "Fiction review: The Hindenburg Crashes Nightly", Publishers Weekly, 6/28/1999. Retrieved 2011-11-22.
  8. ^ "'Hindenburg' an irresistible look at love affair", Atlanta Journal-Constitution, August 15, 1999.
  9. ^ "Books: The Hindenburg Crashes Nightly", by Diane Cole, The New York Times, September 5, 1999.
  10. ^ "Hrbek's 'Hindenburg' Proves to be a Slow Boat", by Greg Moody, Rocky Mountain News, August 11, 1999.
  11. ^ "2006 ROB Fiction Prize Results", Robert Olen Butler Prize official site. Retrieved 2011-11-22.
  12. ^ "Bridport Prize 2006 - Short Story Prizewinners" Archived 2011-10-02 at the Wayback Machine, Bridport Prize official site. Retrieved 2011-11-22.
  13. ^ "Destroy All Monsters and Other Stories by Greg Hrbek", Reviewed by Michael Adelberg, New York Journal of Books, September 1, 2011.