Corinna Vallianatos

Corinna Vallianatos is the author of the novel The Beforeland (October 2020), and the story collection My Escapee (Massachusetts Press, 2015), winner of the 2011 Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction. Her story collection was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. Vallianatos is the recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.

In a review of The Beforeland, The New York Times wrote, “Vallianatos’s gorgeous descriptions. . . provide a dreamy quality to the windswept lives of her characters, who scheme at building something bigger for themselves. . . . Vallianatos’s haunting and precise writing captures the folly of believing in possibility in a country where capitalism is king and most are left out of its abundance.”

Her fiction has appeared in Tin House, The Cincinnati Review, Kenyon Review, A Public Space, McSweeney’s, The Idaho Review, StoryQuarterly, and elsewhere. She received a B.A. from the University of Virginia and her M.F.A. from the University of Arizona.

Vallianatos lives and teaches in Claremont, California. She works as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Literature at Claremont McKenna College. She is currently working on a new collection titled Origin Stories. 

Vallianatos shared a forthcoming story from the series, “Fainting Studies,” at Literary Arts Live at Bates College in 2021. She described it as a story about “female friendship, the desire to make art, and a badly behaved dog”. After the reading, Vallianatos discussed what Anthony described as the “genesis and germination of the story.” Vallianatos said that she wanted to “write about shame and creativity and how those two sorts of impulses go hand in hand.” The filmmaker in the story is somewhat inspired by a real filmmaker Vallianatos knows. In turn, Vallianatos based the narrator, a writer, somewhat on herself. She explained that “[she] wasn’t going to give [herself] the disguise when [she] wasn’t giving it to the other character in the story. The full article on her reading by Olivia Diamond can be found here.

Updated July 2022

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