Susan Lohafer grew up in New Jersey. Educated on both coasts, she spent much of her working life in the Middle West. She is a graduate of Harvard University (B.A., magna cum laude), Stanford University (M.A. in Creative Writing), and New York University (Ph.D. in American Literature). During her academic career at the University of Iowa, she specialized in short fiction theory. Her books include Coming to Terms with the Short Story and Reading for Storyness: Preclosure Theory, Empirical Poetics, and Culture in the Short Story, as well as the co-edited volume Short Story Theory at a Crossroads. Under her maiden name, she’s the author of Knave, Fool, and Genius: The Confidence-Man As He Appears in Nineteenth-century American Fiction. Shorter works include a personal essay listed as a Notable Essay of 2011 in The Best American Essays 2012, and short stories in venues like The Southern Review and The Antioch Review. Her teaching areas included American Literature, short fiction history and theory, and a signature workshop course in the University of Iowa’s M.F.A. Program in Nonfiction. She now lives with her husband in Tennessee, where her interests in artful narrative and nineteenth-century history came together in the fictional retelling of a true story from the region’s past. She is also an occasional painter whose portraits of the main characters are among the illustrations in the book.