Born in Melrose, MN. Education: University of Minnesota, B.A.; San Francisco State University, M.F.A. Hobbies and other interests: Walking her dog.
San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA, associate professor of creative writing. Oklahoma State University, writer in residence, 2007.
Joseph Henry Jackson grant and award, 1995; Barbara Demming Memorial Foundation grant, 1989, 2000; Salt Hill Award, 2001; Iowa Review Award in fiction, 2003; Grace Paley Prize in short fiction, AWP Award Series, 2005; Cooper Award, Ontario Review, 2005; National Endowment for the Arts Grant, 2007; Editors' Choice, New York Times Book Review, 2007.
(With Julie Blackwoman) Voyages Out 2: Lesbian Short Fiction, Seal Press (Seattle, WA), 1990.
The Blessed (novel), Silverleaf Press (Seattle, WA), 1991.
Heavier Than Air (stories), University of Massachusetts Press (Amherst, MA), 2006.
Work represented in anthologies, including HERS 2, HERS 3, Anthology of Brilliant New Fiction by Lesbian Writers, Bless Me Father: Stories of Catholic Childhood, New Standards, Stiller's Pond, Women on Women 2, and Anthology of American Lesbian Short Fiction; contributor to journals, including Ontario Review, Iowa Review, 14 Hills, San Francisco Review of Books, Calyx, Cimarron Review, Salt Hill Literary Review, Madison Review, Sinister Wisdom, and Evergreen Chronicles.
Nona Caspers teaches creative writing and is the author of several volumes, including Heavier Than Air, a collection of stories, most of which are set in her native Minnesota. Many of the characters are farmers and their wives, and several stories feature lesbian relationships and young girls growing up differently in a Midwestern setting. Although their sexual orientation leads them to seek relationships with other females, their lives are very similar to those of their straight counterparts. In one story, a lesbian woman whose relationship has come to an end asks her mother to travel from Minnesota to San Francisco, where she questions her about her own life choices. In another, an exhausted farmer who has suffered from a breakdown sums up his accomplishments with the number of cows, chickens, fields, buildings, and children he has had with this one wife.
Booklist reviewer Gillian Engberg described the stories as ‘darkly funny, compassionate, and unsentimental.’ ‘Caspers is a careful, unsentimental and highly skilled writer,’ wrote Lambda Book Report contributor Nisa Donnelly, who added that the author ‘digs beneath the surface to examine the small details and then brings them to life in this quiet, but lovely collection of stories."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, November 15, 2006, Gillian Engberg, review of Heavier Than Air, p. 31.
Choice, June, 2007, M.W. Cox, review of Heavier Than Air, p. 1752.
New York Times Book Review, February 18, 2007, Andrew Ervin, review of Heavier Than Air, p. 22.
Lambda Book Report, spring, 2007, Nisa Donnelly, review of Heavier Than Air.
San Francisco Chronicle, March 20, 2007, Jesse Berret, review of Heavier Than Air, p. E2.
Nona Caspers Home Page,http://online.sfsu.edu/~ncaspers/Welcome.htm (November 16, 2007).
Oklahoma State University Web site,http://osu.okstate.edu/ (September 22, 2007), biography.
San Francisco State University Web site,http://www.sfsu.edu/~cwriting/ (September 21, 2007), brief biography.