Karen E. Bender

Karen E. Bender is the author of the story collection Refund, which was a 2015 Finalist for the National Book Award in Fiction, short listed for the Frank O'Connor International Story Prize, and Longlisted for the Story Prize. Her novels are Like Normal People and A Town of Empty Rooms. Her fiction has also appeared in the New Yorker, Granta, Ploughshares, Guernica, and Zoetrope and has been reprinted in Best American Short Stories, Best American Mystery Stories, and New Stories from the South. She has also won two Pushcart prizes. Her stories have been read as part of the Selected Shorts program on NPR; she has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Rona Jaffe Foundation. She is the Distinguished Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at Hollins University.


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