Peter Orner‘s first book was Esther Stories (Houghton Mifflin, 2001) a well-received collection of 34 stories about which writer and critic Margot Livesay said in The New York Times, “Orner doesn’t simply bring his characters to life, he gives them souls.” His second book is the funny, brilliant, and lyrical novel, The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo (Little, Brown, 2006). Similar in construction to his story collection, some of the chapters are just a page, in the novel Orner offers an extraordinary cast of characters, including Mavala Shikongo, a former guerrilla, through whose past we learn the often violent history of Namibia.
His work has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review, and Best American Stories . Orner has been awarded a Pushcart Prize, the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship. Born in Chicago, he currently lives in San Francisco.