I grew up in King William County, Virginia and am a writer and teacher. My first book, Mattaponi Queen, was published in June 2010 by Graywolf Press. Mattaponi Queen won the Bakeless Prize and the Library of Virginia Award, was short-listed for the 2010 Frank O’Connor Short Story Award, was one of Kirkus Review’s top fiction debuts for 2010, was long-listed for The Story Prize, and was a finalist for the Library of Virginia People’s Choice Award for fiction. My fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The Paris Review, Glimmer Train, At Length, storySouth, Five Chapters, the Oxford American, Blackbird, and Orion. I live in Chatham County, North Carolina with my husband, Richard Allen, and our two cats, Orange Julius and Loretta.