Selected as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, Ken Foster's debut collection of short stories follows a sometimes overlapping group of characters as they try to figure out the difference between their aspirations and "the kind they're likely to get." This special e-Book edition includes "Stories About Animals," a mini-collection of four more recent stories.
y sister offered to write this for me, but I knew that if she did, she would first tell you about the time I stuffed a little wooden man up my nose and then tell you about my imaginary friend, Sinkapoo Sofa. So, I'm writing this myself, and I'll try to limit myself to things that involve my evolution as a writer.
My first published work was a story called "My Cat" that was dictated to the school secretary when I was in first grade. Our family cat had recently passed away. The full text of the story was "My cat died. My cat is dead." I illustrated it with a scribbled image of a cat with its legs in the air. This image so captivated an art professor at the university, the piece was reprinted in their annual journal of art and writing. And I spent most of the next twenty five years trying to do something other than write. I earned a BA in Clinical Psychology (with a dual major in Humanities) from Lock Haven University, and attended Northeastern University's Bouve College to earn an M Ed. in Counseling and Student Personnel. While at Northeastern, I worked in the student activities office and interned at the MIT student center. I later worked at North Carolina School of the Arts and SUNY Purchase before dropping everything to go back to what I'd been avoiding: writing.
If my eldest dog, Brando, were writing this, he would tell you that my life began when I met him in January 2001. And in some ways, he would be telling the truth. But there's a little sequence of events that he missed: I earned an MFA in fiction from Columbia University, founded the KGB Bar reading series, worked in publishing in a variety of capacities, and published two books between 1998 and 1999: The KGB Bar Reader, an anthology of work from the series, and The Kind I'm Likely to Get, a collection of short stories. Along the way I earned fellowships from Yaddo, the New York Foundation for the Arts and The Sewanee Writers Conference, and published essays, stories and interviews in Salon, Paper, The Village Voice, Bomb and other publications. But that was all BB: before Brando.
Since 2001, I've published the anthology Dog Culture (2002), The Dogs Who Found Me (2006), Dogs I Have Met (2007) and I'm a Good Dog (2012). I also continue to work on projects that aren't dog-related, but I keep this from my dogs. In 2008, I founded The Sula Foundation, which promotes responsible dog owner-ship among the pit bull population, and sponsors education and outreach in the New Orleans area.
Brando, Bananas, Douglas and Paul live with me in the Holy Cross neighborhood of New Orleans's Lower Ninth Ward.read more
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