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Aja Gabel

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Aja Gabel's short fiction can be found in New England Review, New Ohio Review, Glimmer Train, BOMB, and elsewhere. Her lyric essay, "The Sparrows in France," appeared in Kenyon Review and earned her an honorable mention in Best American Essays 2015. She has taught fiction, non-fiction, and literature at the University of Virginia, the University of Houston, Sweet Briar College, and Pacific University, as well as at undergraduate creative writing conferences and community workshop organizations. She earned her BA at Wesleyan University, her MFA at the University of Virginia and has a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston.

Genres: Literary Fiction
Aja Gabel recommends
The House of Deep Water (2020)
Jeni McFarland
"You think a novel can’t possibly do it all, and then you read The House of Deep Water. Here are voices from the heartland--outsiders and deserters, mothers and fathers, newly born and newly dead--rendered real, raw, and aching. Daringly told and dizzingly capable, these voices are finely braided into the most American of stories, that of the impossibility and inevitability of returning home. To say this novel redefines what it means to be a family is an understatement; this novel is a family, veering past and present, stitching the shipwrecked and the wanderers into a beautiful, irregular tapestry. Reminiscent of Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere, this novel announces Jeni McFarland as a writer of our generation."
Love Like That (2021)
Emma Duffy-Comparone
"These stories tingle like a fresh sunburn, secretly pleasant in their heat and specificity. Here, women burn inside their bodies, bodies that have done bad things or had bad things done to them. Whether they are fuming at the beach or hiding in a projectionist booth, it’s a sharp joy to watch them make tender and merciless decisions to reclaim their lives. You’ll think of short form masters like Joy Williams, Deborah Eisenberg, and Tessa Hadley, but most of all you’ll be thinking of the ruthless and beautiful voice of Emma Duffy-Comparone."
Wildcat (2022)
Amelia Morris
"Wildcat is a delightful, searingly accurate novel about the insecurity of new motherhood meeting the seduction of toxic friendships. In writing that manages to be tender, precise, and funny, Morris tells the story of a woman in a state of becoming, caught between what's natural and what's wild. And with witty sendups of a certain kind of L.A. style and the absurdity of influencer culture, Wildcat reminded me what juicy fun disappearing into a good book can be."

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