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Boudinot, Ryan 1972-

Boudinot, Ryan 1972-

PERSONAL:

Born 1972, in U.S. Virgin Islands; married; wife's name Jennifer; children: Miles. Education: Evergreen State College, B.A., 1995; Bennington College, M.F.A., 1999. Hobbies and other interests: "Books, music, movies, all the apparati that produce, market, and perpetuate them."

ADDRESSES:

Home—Seattle, WA. Office—Amazon.com, Inc., 1200 12th Ave. S., Ste. 1200, Seattle, WA 98144-2734. Agent—P.J. Mark, McCormick & Williams, 104 W. 70th St., New York, NY 10023. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer and editor. Amazon.com, Inc., Seattle, WA, customer service representative, 1998-2000, DVD editor, 2004—; Drugstore.com, Bellevue, WA, editor, 2000; Microsoft, Issaquah, WA, editor, 2001; Apex Learning, Bellevue, accounts manager, 2001-2003. Has also worked at a used bookstore.

WRITINGS:

The Littlest Hitler: Stories, Counterpoint (New York, NY), 2006.

Sperm & Egg (novel), Counterpoint (New York, NY), 2008.

Guest editor of Hobart, December, 2004. Contributor to books, including The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2003, Houghton Mifflin (New York, NY), 2003. Contributor to periodicals and online journals, including McSweeney's, Black Book, Mississippi Review, Post Road, and nerve.com.

SIDELIGHTS:

Ryan Boudinot, an editor on the media team at Amazon.com, is the author of The Littlest Hitler: Stories, a volume published in 2006. "To pick up Boudinot's debut collection of stories is to enter a funnyman's twilight zone," wrote Booklist contributor Emily Cook. The title story, written while Boudinot attended Bennington College, concerns a fourth grader who dresses as Adolf Hitler for Halloween and finds that a classmate comes as Anne Frank. "It's a solid, well-wrought M.F.A. program kind of story, first-person-y and specific in the details of childhood—the kind of thing you could imagine being read (and admired) on NPR," noted Brian Miller in the Seattle Weekly. According to Seattle Times critic Michael Up-church, "Boudinot is at his best when he's lampooning workplace rivalries, insensitivities and sexual tensions. In ‘Bee Beard,’ an employee of a high-tech company is startled when a female colleague he's smitten with walks into work sporting a live bee beard." Upchurch added that Boudinot "spoofs the company's pet-friendly policy to perfect effect here, while also ripping back some veils on workplace animosities and attractions."

The Littlest Hitler received generally strong reviews. A Kirkus Reviews contributor noted that when Boudinot "writes fully developed stories, he's abrasive, thought-provoking and explosively funny," and Deirdre Donahue, reviewing the work in USA Today, stated that the author's tales "will alternately entertain, impress and creep you out." "A strong, tight writer with a squinting eye for detailed characterizations and their dippy, thought-bubbling imaginations," concluded A.D. Amorosi in the Philadelphia City Paper, Boudinot "has produced a most righteous volume of twisted witty short stories."

Boudinot told CA: "I became interested in writing when I was six years old, October 1979. I was selected to participate in Seattle Pacific University's Young Authors conference; the deal was each kid wrote a story and read it aloud to a group of their peers. I wrote a story about befriending a lion, and my story was chosen as my workshop's favorite.

"Since I was in grade school I had this sort of plan laid out in which I'd write novels, get an agent, get published, and appear on Johnny Carson. What took me by surprise is how the Internet completely redefined how our culture operates. I was in grad school in 1997 and needed a day job so started working in the customer service department at Amazon.com, when it was still a bookstore. Being a small part of something that changed the culture in a pretty fundamental way, and at a very early stage, was a real surprise to me.

"I try to remain open to influence from great books, films, music, and the whole electronic sphere of information. I used to consider myself something of a neo-Luddite, but have come to embrace this weird, hyperreal age I happen to live in…. I'm influenced by everything.

"I wrote the first draft of Sperm & Egg with my newborn son napping on my chest, strapped marsupial-like into a Baby Bjorn carrier. [Recently] I've been writing in the early morning, about five a.m. I get up, write for an hour, and go back to bed."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, August 1, 2006, Emily Cook, review of The Littlest Hitler: Stories, p. 38.

Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2006, review of The Littlest Hitler, p. 588.

Philadelphia City Paper, October 5, 2006, A.D. Amorosi, review of The Littlest Hitler.

Seattle Times, September 15, 2006, Michael Up-church, "Shocks That Sting, and Shocks That Merely Splatter," review of The Littlest Hitler.

Seattle Weekly, October 22, 2003, Brian Miller, "Talent Required: Two Young, Unknown Seattle Writers Pop Up in the Eggers Pantheon."

USA Today, October 11, 2006, Deirdre Donahue, review of The Littlest Hitler.

ONLINE

Amazon.com,http://www.amazon.com/ (December 12, 2006), "Ryan Boudinot's Profile Page."

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