Lou Berney is the author of November Road (a Washington Post Best Book of 2018), The Long and Faraway Gone (winner of the Edgar, Anthony, Barry, Macavity, and ALA awards), Whiplash River, and Gutshot Straight, all from William Morrow. He’s also written a collection of stories, The Road to Bobby Joe, and his short fiction has appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, Ploughshares, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. He teaches in the MFA program at Oklahoma City University.
My two older sisters liked to play school with me, whether I liked it or not, and so I learned to read, whether I liked it or not, at a very early age.
Between the ages of 12 and 19, I was fired from approximately nine different jobs. A representative sampling: newspaper delivery boy (dereliction of duty), grill cook (lying about my age to get the job), apartment complex maintenance man (general incompetence), photo darkroom attendant (dereliction of duty, general incompetence, inappropriate use of darkroom).
Since the age of 19, I have not been fired from a job.
A (very) small sampling of my favorite writers, in no particular order: Kate Atkinson, Elmore Leonard, Kelly Link, Walter Mosley, Laura Lippman, Flannery O’Connor, Don Winslow, Megan Abbott, Rachel Kushner, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Louise Erdrich, Stephen Harrigan, Dorothy B. Hughes, Ivy Pochoda, Lynda Barry.