Vanessa Veselka is the author of a novel, Zazen, was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award and won the 2012 PEN/Robert W. Bingham prize for debut fiction. Her stories have appeared in Tin House, Zyzzyva, and SWINK. Her long form nonfiction can be found in GQ, The Atlantic, The American Reader, and Salon. She has also been, at times, a teenage runaway, a union organizer, a student of paleontology, a train-hopper, a waitress, and a mother.
"Often, authors fall into two distinct camps: those who write gorgeous sentences, but who can’t spin conflict-driven yarns, direct storytelling taking a backseat to narrative navel-gazing; on the other side are the ones who emphasize plot, building much more filmic stories, yet those authors never take the time to make each sentence stand on their own as pieces of art. The lucky few are able to do both of these things simultaneously—think Denis Johnson, John Fante, Lynda Barry—and Veselka is one of thEM. —Joshua Mohr / The Rumpus
"Veselka's prose is chiseled and laced with arsenic observations." — Publisher’s Weekly