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  • NYS Writers Institute

Novelist, essayist, and short story writer Eric Puchner

"It all started when Rogelio staple-gunned a flyer to a guy’s chest at Being and Books. Or maybe that was the end of things, I don’t know. It’s been a strange year, full of love and despair."

From "Independence," a short story in Eric Puchner's new collection Last Day on Earth

Edward Schwarzschild, NYS Writers Institute fellow and director of Creative Writing at UAlbany, interviews novelist, essayist, and short story writer Eric Puchner. They discuss his new short story collection, the realities of the work involved in writing, and how he moves from form to form.

Besides Last Day on Earth, Eric Puchner is the author of the story collection Music Through the Floor, a finalist for the New York Public Library's Young Lions Fiction Award, and the novel Model Home, which was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Barnes & Noble Discover Award, and won a California Book Award.

He has received a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, and an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2015 he was awarded the Jeannette Haien Ballard Writer’s Prize, given annually to writers “of proven excellence in poetry or prose.”

An assistant professor in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University, he lives in Baltimore with his wife, the novelist Katharine Noel, and their two children.

An excerpt from Last Day on Earth, published on lithub.

More about Eric Puchner at


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