Saturday, May 10, 2003

Paul Lisicky

PAUL LISICKY received his BA and MA from Rutgers University and his MFA from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. He is the author of the novel Lawnboy, and the memoir Famous Builder published in 2002.

Lawnboy is the adventure of 17-year-old Evan. The book begins with Evan mowing a neighbor's lawn, an ordinary chore that launches him into an extraordinary world of adult desire, confusion, and betrayal. It is a book about the possibility of finding love and finding self in a world of broken relationships and decaying motels sinking back into the swamps of South Florida.

"Nobody writes about hilarious longing the way Paul Lisicky does," writes Elizabeth McCracken about Lawnboy.

"I love to make people laugh," says Lisicky. "I love to be with people who make me laugh. If one of the goals of memoir is the attempt to capture the self on the page, then it would be false not to enact my sense of humor.... The truth is the tone of Famous Builder is probably just as heartbroken as it is funny. The reader can only stand so much rawness and pain before he/she starts to feel annihilated by it."

Lisicky's stories and essays have appeared in Ploughshares, Sonora Review, and other magazines and in the anthologies Men On Men; Best American Gay Fiction 2, Flash Fiction, Boulevard, Quarterly West, Gulf Coast, Mississippi Review, Black Warrior Review, and the Carolina Quarterly.

Lisicky's honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, James Michener/Copernicus Society, Henfield Foundation, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. He lives in New York and Provincetown, teaching fiction/creative nonfiction at Sarah Lawrence College and in the low-residency MFA program at Antioch University, Los Angeles.

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