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Amy Hempel
Amy Hempel

Key figure in the world of contemporary literary fiction

NYW Writers Institute,September 20, 2006
4:15 p.m. Seminar | Assembly Hall, Campus Center

Amy Hempel
is an influential stylist and one of the defining makers of Minimalist fiction. Her work frequently concerns sexual obsession, relationships gone awry, and the unsatisfied longings of everyday life.

Chuck Palahniuk (bestselling author of Fight Club) has written about the enormous impact of Hempel's fiction on his own work during his formative years as a writer:

"When you study Minimalism in the novelist Tom Spanbauer's workshop, the first story you read is Amy Hempel's The Harvest. After that, you're ruined… every other book you ever read will suck." - Chuck Palahniuk


Hempel's newest book is The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel (2006). In a starred review, Publishers Weekly said, "this volume is an awesome thing indeed, and pleasure lovers of the short story will not want to deny themselves." Hempel's previous collection was The Dog of the Marriage (2005). Writing in The New York Times Book Review, D. T. Max said, "These pinpointed stories achieve something more fleshed-out work often doesn't: they tell us not just what life is like but the authentic way to see it."

Other collections by Hempel include Tumble Home (1997), At the Gates of the Animal Kingdom (1990), and Reasons to Live (1985). She is also coeditor of the anthology, Unleashed: Poems by Writers' Dogs (1995).

Hempel is a past winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Pushcart Prize, and the Silver Medal of the Commonwealth Club of California. She has served as a judge for the National Book Award, the PEN/Hemingway Award, and the Mary McCarthy Prize.

Additional Links:
Hempel Gazette Article
Hempel/Livesey Times Union Article
Hempel Writers Online Article

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at https://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.