Ethan Chatagnier

Ethan Chataginer is the author of the story collection Warnings from the Future (Acre Books, 2018), and his debut novel, Singer Distance, is forthcoming from Tin House Books in October 2022. He has been awarded a Pushcart Prize and listed as notable in the Best American Short Stories and the Million Writers Award.

Erika Swyler, author of Light from Other Stars, praised Singer Distance. She wrote, “An achingly beautiful look at living in the shadow of genius, science, math, and loving the difficult to love. Chatagnier looks at the sky and people with equal wonder, and the result is deeply moving. Singer Distance is a book for readers of Sagan, lovers of paradoxes, anyone who has ever looked up. This truly gorgeous novel will live with me for a long time.”

In an interview with San Joaquin Review Online, Chataginer mentioned, “Well, the questions I like best are the ones that I don’t have a ready answer for. One of those for me is “What do you hope to achieve by writing fiction?” If it were just to entertain people, I’d be trying to write more entertaining work. Yet I tend to be skeptical of claims about literature shaking empires and drafting legislation. Perhaps it can sometimes. I don’t think it does often. Mostly it’s read by small audiences, in the hopes that it will mean something to them. The fiction I’ve read has meant something to me. It’s shaped me, comforted me. It’s created unique emotions in me that I could not have felt otherwise. So I guess I hope the writing will mean something to someone else the way it has meant something to me. “Mean something” is a vague enough phrase; it’s hard to say what that phrase itself means. I don’t know what whalesong means either, but I’m glad it’s out there, floating through the ocean. That’s sort of how it feels. I’ve heard beautiful songs coming from untraceable places. They got stuck inside me, and now I try to sing them back.”

His stories have appeared in Kenyon Review Online, Georgia Review, New England Review, Georgia Review, Five Points, Barrelhouse, Cincinnati Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Ascent, and other journals. Chataginer graduated from Fresno State, where he won the Larry Levis Prize in Poetry, and Emerson College, where he earned an M.A. in Publishing and Writing.

Chataginer lives in California with his family.

Updated June 2022

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