Writer, reader, teacher

  • A Good/Strange Thing

    A Good/Strange Thing

    In 2020, Monash University Publishing published this short story about an amusement park, amorphous dread, and familial love. There’s also—crucially—a dog. “A Good/Strange Thing” copyright Leah De Forest 2020. Featured photo from Christian Kourtum, via Creative Commons.

  • Queer love and second-act delights

    Queer love and second-act delights

    I had the pleasure of interviewing J. Vanessa Lyon about her novel Lush Lives, which came out with Roxane Gay Books on August 1. Lyon’s almost-debut novel (the second title from Gay’s imprint) is racy, thoughtful, and delightful. When I (somewhat impertinently) asked Lyon why her book matters, she said: “I hope my book matters because…

  • In which I talk to awesome people (and admire their dogs)

    In which I talk to awesome people (and admire their dogs)

    I’m an editor at Bloom, a site for and about writers working in midlife and beyond. This week I interviewed my friend Anne Elliott, who in addition to being an amazing writer (and dog-adopter, and ukulele player) is a former Wall Street financial analyst. Our conversation starts with a description of how Anne changed her…

  • Subject Position as Craft Tool: An Investigation

    Subject Position as Craft Tool: An Investigation

    Thanks to Fiction Writers Review for publishing a version of my MFA degree essay. This (writing craft) essay examines the novella “Blessed Assurance”, by Allan Gurganus; the novel Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee; and the short story “Brownies”, by ZZ Packer. I use subject position as a tool for thinking about how writers deal with privilege…

  • Gifts


    Thanks to Bodega Magazine for publishing my story, “Gifts”, in its 100th issue (and for nominating the story for a Pushcart Prize): “Sit up straight. Chew carefully. Today is the day you’re meeting them—the family who read about you on a bulletin board and offered to help. They have a long low house designed by…

  • Orange peel

    Orange peel

    Honored to have two pieces—an essay and a short story—in this month’s issue of LEON Literary Review, alongside some amazing writers. Here’s a taste from the essay: “When my brother and I were small, and my mother was out somewhere—at work, or perhaps in a psychiatric hospital, I don’t recall—my Dad showed us how he…

  • Fact, fiction … and truth

    Fact, fiction … and truth

    History, it seemed, disagreed about the sky. ‘Many guests especially recalled the beautiful moon that shone that evening,’ Chapter Five of Lincoln in the Bardo begins. ‘There was no moon that night and the sky was heavy with clouds,’ it says later. ‘The guests began to depart as the full yellow moon hung among the…

  • The evolution of Anne

    The evolution of Anne

    Okay, I admit it. I didn’t like 80s Anne of Green Gables. I’m sorry. I know. People loved 80s Anne. She was funny, and cute, and clever. And the film is well done. But I couldn’t connect. An unwanted child whose defining characteristic was optimistic smarts? Who, when told she couldn’t stay with her new family, looks…

  • Reasons to read The Lighthouse

    Reasons to read The Lighthouse

    First, to dispense with an irritation. The guy who said Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse is ‘not about anything very interesting or important’[1] … well, he was wrong. To the Lighthouse is about love, and subjection, and forgiveness. Art. Parenthood. Death. It conjures up—if you’ll excuse my earnestness—the joy and dread of being alive. So…