Anthony Marra boasts a pretty impressive resume. After graduating from USC, he earned an MFA at the esteemed Iowa Writer's Workshop. He won a Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University, where he now teaches.
Marra is the author of a 2013 novel, the intriguingly named "A Constellation of Vital Phenomena," which won both acclaim and awards. But it's his short story collection, “The Tsar of Love and Techno,” that is relevant here: It is the focus of this year's Spokane Is Reading project.
Not yet impressed? Then read some of the critical comments about Marra's work:
Now, Times reviewer Sarah Lyall on Marra's story collection: "(Marra) starts this miracle of a book by showing us how a system can erase the past, the truth, even its citizens. He ends by demonstrating, through his courageous, flawed, deeply human characters, how individual people can restore the things that have been taken away."
And from The Guardian: " 'The Tsar of Love and Techno' … shares much with David Mitchell’s expansive 'Cloud Atlas,' and it wears its blend of dry humour and tragedy very well."
From Newsday: "By the time you reach Marra's astonishing final story about Kolya, 'The End' — set, a dateline tells us, in 'Outer Space, Year Unknown' — the book has achieved a heart-rending cumulative power."
That should be enough to intrigue you. It should definitely impress you, if not convince you to catch one of his appearances.