He graduated from Colorado College, and from the University of Wisconsin–Madison with an MA in European history and from Washington University in St. Louis with an MFA in creative writing. He was Booth Tarkington Writer-in-Residence, at Butler University.
His first novel, A Gentleman’s Guide to Graceful Living, won the 2009 PEN/Hemingway award. His second book, The Best of Youth, was published in 2013 by WW Norton. His work has appeared in, Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review, and Tin House.
- A Gentleman's Guide to Graceful Living. WW Norton. 2008. ISBN 978-0-39306-617-3.
- The Best of Youth. WW Norton. 2013. ISBN 978-0-39308-185-5.
- "The Begging Chair". The Kenyon Review. Kenyon College. XXII (3/4). Fall 2000.
- "Young Collectors' Day". Ploughshares. Emerson College. Fall 2002.
- "The Children of Stromsund". Tin House. 41. Fall 2009.
- "The Pharmacist from Jena". Harper's. January 2012.