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William Luvaas has published two novels, The Seductions of Natalie Bach (Little, Brown) and Going Under (Putnam), and a story collection, A Working Man’s Apocrypha (Oklahoma Univ. Press). He has edited an anthology, Into The Deep End: The Writing Center Anthology 3. His new collection, Ashes Rain Down: a story cycle, is forthcoming from Spuyten Duyvil Press (February, 2013). The Seductions of Natalie Bach was nominated for The National Book Award and the Pen/Faulkner Award. Going Under was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and A Working Man’s Apocrypha was nominated for the 2008 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He is at work on a memoir: Wrestling with my Secret Self: A memoir of living with epilepsy.
Luvaas’s short fiction (fifty stories), articles and essays have appeared widely, including in The American Literary Review, The American Fiction Anthology (vol. 9), Antioch Review, Blackbird, Carpe Articulum, Epiphany, Essays & Fictions, Glimmer Train, Grain Mag., Harper’s Weekly, North American Review, Short Story, Stand Mag., The Sun, Texas Review, Thema, The Village Voice and The Washington Post Book World. He has been a contributing writer to The San Diego Reader, Cosmopolitan (Japanese edition), and The American College Testing Program. He is online fiction editor for Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts.
His novels and stories focus on people coping with adversity under difficult circumstances. An apocalyptic wind often blows through his work. Glimmer Train Co-editor Linda Swanson-Davies says of his characters: “He manages to make such swerving and impossible lives feel utterly true…even normal.”
Luvaas has received fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts, the Ludwig Vogelstein and Edward Albee foundations. His story “Ashes Rain Down” won first place in Glimmer Train’s Winter ‘08 Fiction Open Contest, “Family Life” won The Ledge Magazine’s 2010 Fiction Competition, “The Firewood Wars” was co-winner of Fiction Network’s 2nd National Fiction Competition, and “Out There” won Honorable Mention in Carpe Articulum’s International Short Fiction Award Series. Ten of his stories have been nominated for The Pushcart Prize. His wife’s film of his story “A Working Man’s Apocrypha” won Best Short Feature Film at the Delta International Film Festival in 2006.
Raised in Eugene, Oregon, Luvaas graduated cum laude from the University of California, Berkeley, and was a student activist. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from San Diego State University. He was the first VISTA Volunteer in Alabama, working for civil rights and economic justice. As Fiction Coordinator for New York State Poets in Public Service, he served as writer-in-residence at dozens of schools, hospitals and juvenile detention facilities, including The United Nations International School and Bronx High School of Science. Luvaas has taught creative writing at San Diego State University and in the MFA Program at UC-Riverside, as well as at The Writer’s Voice in New York and The UCLA Writing Program. He has also worked as a carpenter, pipe maker, window washer, and freelance journalist. Luvaas has lived in England, Israel, and Spain, and for a year in a primitive cabin he built in a giant stump in the Mendocino County redwoods. He now lives in Riverside County, California with his wife, Lucinda, a painter and film maker.