Tobias Wolff, the Ward W. and Priscilla B. Woods Professor of English at Stanford University, has been called one of America's "great contemporary masters of the short story" (Salon). In the Garden of the North American Martyrs (1981), Back in the World (1985), The Night in Question (1997), and Our Story Begins (2008) offer a rich selection of intriguing stories about everyday, ordinary life that have led some critics to compare his fiction writing to that of Chekhov and the Irish writer William Trevor. For his short fiction he has been honored with the Rea Award, the O. Henry Prize, and the Story Prize while his longer fiction has received the Pen / Faulkner Award. Prof. Wolff's memoirs of growing up in Washington State, first in Seattle and then in a remote town in the Cascade Mountains (This Boy's Life, 1989), and of serving as a Special Forces lieutenant in Vietnam (In Pharaoh's Army, 1994) have been similarly honored: the Los Angeles Times Book Prize was awarded to This Boy's Life and the memoir about Vietnam was a finalist for the National Book Award. Old School, a poignant novel about an adolescent's boarding school education, was published in 2003 and pays tribute to the dedicated, inspiring teachers whom the hero of the novel admires even as he is flunking out of school.
Last Updated: 7/24/12