New books and awards for Paris American Academy writing teachers

Paris Journal teacher Lauren Grodstein's latest novel, A Friend of the Family (Algonquin, 2009), debuted in November to wide critical acclaim. The Washington Post called it "horrifyingly plausible and deeply poignant"; the Wall Street Journal called it "dark and unsettling"; Bust Magazine called it "difficult to put down." People Magazine praised its "harsh, honest prose"; USA Today noted how it "beautifully captures the ever-striving angst of parents who will take any step to ensure their children's lives are easier or better"; and the Boston Globe noted, "if there’s any justice in the world, A Friend of the Family will be [Grodstein's] breakout book." More information, including book-tour event details, online at Lauren's website.

Literary fictions teacher John Biguenet received the Faulkner Society's 2009 ALIHOT Award for Contributions to Literature, the organization's major annual award. His new play, Shotgun, has been nominated for the American Theatre Critics Association's 2009 ATCA/Steinberg New Play Award for best new American play of the year, and his previous play, Rising Water, will be published by Northwestern University Press in 2011 in a volume entitled Katrina On Stage. His short story collection, The Torturer's Apprentice, will be published in French translation by Edition Albin Michel — and both The Torturer's Apprentice and Oyster, his novel, will be published in Dutch translation by Uitgeverij Ailantus in Amsterdam. His essay "In Between: the DeZurik Sisters," which appeared originally in the Oxford American's annual music issue and was then chosen for Best Music Writing 2006, will be included in the forthcoming Autumn House Anthology of Essays. An online interview with him appears in Story in Literary Fiction.

In November of 2009, creative nonfiction teacher Rolf Potts became the first American writer to receive Italy's prestigious Bruce Chatwin Prize in travel writing. His newest book, Marco Polo Didn't Go There, also received a 2009 Lowell Thomas Award from the Society of American Travel Writers. Rolf's stories and essays have recently been anthologized in The Best Travel Writing 2009, the Best of Lonely Planet Travel Writing, and The Best Creative Nonfiction, Vol. 2. His Believer story "The Henry Ford of Literature" was given notable mention in Houghton Mifflin's The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2009.