Inspired by his college days and life after
Photography: Courtesy of Ron Carlson
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Ron Carlson may be the most famous writer you’ve never heard of. His first novel, Betrayed by F. Scott Fitzgerald, inspired by his college days and life after, was published to some acclaim in 1977. In subsequent years, he has had short stories appear regularly in top magazines in the U.S., including The New Yorker, Harper’s, and Esquire. His stories have been anthologized in many “best short story” collections and in five of his own. In addition, he’s published two more novels. His work draws high praise from other authors, including Michael Cunningham, Pam Houston, even Stephen King.
Carlson is a master of witty one-liners on writing, so you’ll often find him quoted among such luminaries as Shakespeare and Mark Twain for comments like this one: “I always write about my own experiences, whether I’ve had them or not.”
In addition to writing and teaching, Carlson reviews for a number of quality publications. So even if you don’t know the name, or the amiable face that appears on his book jackets, chances are good you’ve read something he’s written.
Two things are likely to put his name on the tip of your tongue this year. For one, he’s appearing in the upcoming film “Keith,” made from his short story of the same name. The film, about an oddball high school kid who woos a beautiful classmate, stars the currently hot young singer/actor Jesse McCartney. Carlson plays a teacher in the movie.