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Peter Orner’s fiction and nonfiction has appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, Granta, the Paris Review, McSweeney’s, the Southern Review, the Forward, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Ploughshares. Stories have been anthologized in Best American Stories and twice won a Pushcart Prize. Orner was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship (2006) as well as the two-year Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship (2007-08). A film version of one of Orner’s stories, The Raft, with a screenplay by Orner and the film’s director, Rob Jones, is currently in production and stars Ed Asner.
Esther Stories (Houghton Mifflin/ Mariner, 2001) was awarded the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Goldberg Prize for Jewish Fiction, and was a Finalist for the Pen Hemingway Award and the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award. Esther Stories was a 2001 New York Times Notable Book. Of the book, Margot Livesey wrote in the New York Times Book Review, “Orner doesn’t simply bring his characters to life, he gives them souls.”
The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo (Little, Brown, 2006) is set in Namibia where Orner lived and worked in the early 1990s. The novel was a Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a San Francisco Chronicle Best-Seller, and winner of the Bard Fiction Prize.
Orner is also the editor of two nonfiction books, Underground America (2008) and Hope Deferred: Narratives of Zimbabwean Lives (coeditor Annie Holmes, 2010), both published by McSweeney’s / Voice of Witness, an imprint devoted to using oral history to illuminate human rights crises around the world. Harper’s wrote, “Hope Deferred might be the most important publication out of Zimbabwe in the past thirty years.”