Jaimee Wriston Colbert is the author of seven books of fiction: How Not to Drown (May 2021), Vanishing Acts, Wild Things, Shark Girls, Dream Lives of Butterflies, Climbing the God Tree, and Sex, Salvation, and the Automobile. Her books won the 2021 and 2018 International Book Awards, the 2021 NYC Big Book Award, CNY 2017 Fiction Award, Willa Cather Fiction Prize, Zephyr Prize, IPPY Gold Medal, Ian MacMillan Fiction Award, and more. Her stories have appeared in The Gettysburg Review, Prairie Schooner, New Letters, and many other venues. She is a recipient of the 2019 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities and delivered the 2021 Harpur Dean’s Distinguished Lecture. Originally from Hawaii, she lives in upstate New York, where she is Distinguished Professor of English and Creative Writing at SUNY Binghamton University.
Publicist promo for How Not to Drown
eco-fiction.com on Vanishing Acts: “Vanishing Acts is a very good example of a modern literary novel that arouses the reader’s mindfulness to global warming, extinction, and the loss of biodiversity, meanwhile mirroring the planet’s demise in our personal relationships and downfalls. In both planet and person are beautiful and complicated systems, strength, failure, and intricate but fragile relationships. The novel is a brilliant journey in an exotic land, with flavorful characters and prose as lush and verdant as the volcanic rainforest’s.” (Featured book - Authors Who Tackle Climate Change in Fiction).
Booklist on Wild Things: “Colbert (Shark Girls, 2009) hones her clarion vision of the interconnectedness and vulnerability of life in this edgy, knowing, situationally complex, and emotionally intricate short story collection. …. Colbert’s divining sense of brokenness and our longing for wholeness makes for extraordinarily incisive, stirring, funny, and haunting all-American stories.”
From Booklist on Shark Girls: (Starred Review): "Colbert has created an edgy and lush gothic tale laced with outlaw eroticism and barbed absurdities, and propelled by a powerful undertow racing beneath every alarming scene, bitterly funny moment, and strange twist of fate. From women battered and haunted to “throwaway kids,” rock-and-roll burnouts, and quixotic quests, Colbert summons a world as volatile as Hawaii itself, with its cycles of volcanic destruction and slow repair." --Donna Seaman
Booklist said about Dream Lives of Butterflies: "Evocative images of specimen butterflies, their broken bodies permanently suspended in time and pinned in place, suffuse Colbert's inventively interconnected stories of fragile yet defiant people whose lives immutably sway in a limbo between uncertainty and endurance."
The New York Times on Climbing the God Tree: "The scope of Jaimee Wriston Colbert's storytelling is impressive, with no fewer than 16 central characters delineated in intricately overlapping narratives. ...The stories stand on their own as sensitive and unsentimental evocations of unrelieved loss..."
She teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Binghamton University, State University of New York.
Publicist promo for Vanishing Acts