Tom Barbash

Tom Barbash profile image

Tom Barbash grew up in New York and is the author of three books as well as numerous reviews, stories essays, and articles for publications including McSweeney’s, Tin House, the Believer, Narrative Magazine, One Story, StoryQuarterly, Zyzzyva, the Missouri Review, Story Magazine, Men’s Journal, ESPN the Magazine, BookForum, and the New York Times.

His short story collection Stay Up With Me (Ecco/Harper Collins) was nominated for the Folio Prize, and was picked as a Best Book of the Year by the Independent of London, NPR,, the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Jose Mercury News, and was a San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller and a New York Times Editor’s Choice. British GQ, British Vogue, and British Harper’s Bazaar selected it for their summer book clubs.

His novel The Last Good Chance (Picador USA), was awarded The California Book Award, was a Publishers Weekly and Anniston Star Best Book of the Year, and was short listed for the Great Lakes Book Prize and the Saroyan International Prize.

His nonfiction book On Top of the World (Harper Collins), about the horrific fate of the bond firm Cantor Fitzgerald on 9/11 was a New York Times Bestseller, and landed him on the Today Show and Larry King Live.

A well-regarded speaker, panelist, and interviewer, Barbash has served as host for onstage events for The Commonwealth Club, Litquake, BookPassage, and the Lannan Foundation, and his interview subjects have included Kazuo Ishiguro, Brett Easton Ellis, Jonathan Franzen, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, James Ellroy, Ann Packer, Mary Gaitskill, and Chuck Palahniuk.

His book reviews have run regularly in the San Francisco Chronicle, and the New York Times, and his author interviews have appeared regularly in the Rumpus and the Believer.

Barbash has been asked to read at numerous colleges and universities including San Francisco State, SUNY-Albany, University if Nevada Las Vegas, University of Nevada Reno, Oregon State, Reed College, Otis College, University of California at Berkeley, University of New Mexico, Stanford, Oberlin College, Rice University and others.

Four separate theater groups have performed his stories: Stories on Stage in Chicago, Sacramento, and Denver, and the New Short Fiction Series in Los Angeles.

He teaches the novel, short fiction, and nonfiction, and runs CCA’s widely celebrated Friday Reading Series (a.k.a., Writers Series).

He has held fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, The James Michener Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Associate Professor, Writing and Literature
Associate Professor, Writing

BA, Haverford College; MFA, Iowa Writer's Workshop; Stanford University