Robert Boswell

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Robert Boswell
Born (1953-12-08) December 8, 1953 (age 66)
Other namesShale Aaron
OccupationAuthor, professor
Known forTumbledown, The Heyday of the Insensitive Bastards

Robert Boswell is an American short story writer and novelist.


Robert Boswell is the author of eleven books. His stories have appeared in the New Yorker, Best American Short Stories, O. Henry Prize Stories, Pushcart Prize Stories, Best Stories from the South, Esquire, Ploughshares, Harvard Review, Colorado Review.

He has been faculty at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.

He shares the Cullen Chair in Creative Writing at the University of Houston with his wife, Antonya Nelson, whom he met in a creative writing workshop at the University of Arizona taught by Mary Carter. They were married July 1984. Their daughter Jade is an art student at James Madison University, and son, Noah, is attending Macalester College as an English major.

Boswell teaches creative writing at the University of Houston.


  • Virtual Death was a finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award.
  • His play Tongues won the John Gassner Prize[1]
  • two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships
  • Guggenheim Fellowship
  • Iowa School of Letters Award for Fiction
  • PEN West Award for Fiction
  • the Evil Companions Award


  • "Sleeping in Bars". Freight Stories., 2008
  • City Bus, published in Ploughshares, Spring 2004

Short Stories[edit]



  • The Half-Known World. Graywolf Press. 2008. ISBN 978-1-55597-504-3.
  • What Men Call Treasure: The Search for Gold at Victorio Peak. Cinco Puntos Press. 2008. ISBN 978-1-933693-21-7. -a book about a real-life treasure hunt in New Mexico (co-written with David Schweidel).


  • Tongues


In many ways, Robert Boswell fits the mythology of the contemporary man in the American West. Known as Boz, he's a lanky, laconic six-footer with a closely cropped beard. Typically garbed in jeans and rumpled shirts with rolled-up sleeves, he drives a pickup truck and listens to Bruce Springsteen. He lives in an adobe house near the Rio Grande in Las Cruces, New Mexico, less than fifty miles from the Mexican border. His voice is a baritone, coming from way deep, and he's a slow talker—slower still with strangers. He claims the desert as his landscape of preference, insisting that the sky really is larger out there, and too much time away from the West makes him claustrophobic.[2]


Through this collection of 14 works, as he demonstrates again and again, the short story's pulse and meaning lie not in the places where the author points the light, but in those areas that remain purposefully obscure.[3]


External links[edit]