Valerie Laken’s first novel, Dream House, received the Anne Powers Award and was one of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2009. Her story collection, Separate Kingdoms, was long-listed for the Story Prize and the Frank O’Connor Award in 2011. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and has received a Pushcart Prize and an honorable mention in the Best American Short Stories. She holds an MA in Slavic Literatures and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan, and is currently an associate professor and coordinator of the graduate program in creative writing at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. She is at work on a graphic novel.