Laura Furman, 2010
© Ave Bonar, Austin, Texas

My newest book:
The Mother Who Stayed

"No book could be more beautifully formed or more deeply satisfying . "
Joan Silber, author of
The Size of the World and Ideas of Heaven

"There are no false notes anywhere in this collection, which Furman presents as three 'trios.' . . . . Although each story deepens the others in its trio, each also stands alone. And although time’s passing and the losses it brings is a prevailing theme, the stories are also suffused with a deep sense of what abides."
— Mary Ellen Quinn, Booklist

"Furman's prose ambles sinuously, in unexpected directions, and has a quiet, sure effect."
Publishers Weekly


Laura Furman was born in Brooklyn, New York, and educated in New York City public schools, PS 75 and Hunter College High School. She graduated from Bennington College. After college she worked at Grove Press and then as a freelance copy editor for various New York publishing houses and the Menil Foundation.

Her first story appeared in The New Yorker in 1976, and since then work has appeared in Yale Review, Epoch, Southwest Review, Ploughshares, American Scholar, and other magazines. Her books include three collections of short stories, two novels, and a memoir. Her most recent collection is The Mother Who Stayed.

Laura Furman's received fellowships from the New York State Council on the Arts, Dobie Paisano Project, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Since 2002, she's been Series Editor of The O. Henry Prize Stories, published annually by Anchor Books. Each year she selects the twenty winning stories and writes an introduction.

For many years, she taught at the University of Texas at Austin, where she is now professor emerita.

Laura Furman lives in Austin with her husband Joel Warren Barna and their son.


Story Collections
Winedale Books, 2001.
"Furman’s portraits of her characters are rich in telling details, showing them utterly and convincingly rooted in their worlds. Her luxuriant histories of grief are sure and exact, drawing the reader in and rarely loosening their grip." The New York Times Book Review
Viking Press, 1983
"The stories in Watch Time Fly are deceptively simple; they illustrate the way in which masterful skill can disguise itself as an innocent lack of literary self-consciousness." –Wendy Lesser, The New York Times Book Review
Summit Books, 1986;
reissued by Winedale Books in 2000
"Tuxedo Park is the best entertainment imaginable, rich in plot and event, pulling the reader from page to page as powerfully as the most suspenseful thriller. But it's also good literature. It's finely crafted, each character lovingly, carefully wrought, each scene meticulously colored and every detail palpable.... This is a book that first catches your eye and then grabs your heart. It hangs on and won't let go." — Anne Tyler, USA Today
Viking Press, 1982
Winedale Books, 1996.
"Ordinary Paradise shows how a devastating loss, acknowledged or not, can seep through the family psyche." —The New York Times Book Review
Edited Collections
“Widely regarded as the nation’s most prestigious awards for short fiction.” —The Atlantic Monthly

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