Hirshberg, Glen 1966-
HIRSHBERG, Glen 1966-
Born 1966, in Detroit, MI; married; children. Education: Columbia University, B.A.; University of Montana, M.A., M.F.A.
Home—CA. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Carrol & Graf Publishers, 161 William St., New York, NY 10038.
Author, writing teacher, and journalist.
World Fantasy Award nomination and International Horror Guild Award nomination, both 2001, both for short story "Mr. Dark's Carnival"; World Fantasy Award nomination, 2002, for short story "Struwwelpeter"; International Horror Guild awards, best medium-length story, 2003, for "Dancing Men," and best collection, 2003, for The Two Sams: Ghost Stories; Publishers Weekly Best Book selection, 2003, for The Two Sams: Ghost Stories; Bennett Cerf Prize for best fiction, Columbia University.
The Snowman's Children (novel), Carroll & Graf Publishers (New York, NY), 2002.
The Two Sams: Ghost Stories (short stories), Carroll & Graf Publishers (New York, NY), 2003.
Author's stories have appeared in volumes such as The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, Fourteenth Annual Collection, edited by Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow, St. Martin's Griffin (New York, NY), 2001; The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, Fifteenth Annual Collection, edited by Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow, St. Martin's Griffin (New York, NY), 2002; The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, Volume 14, edited by Stephen Jones, Carroll & Graf Publishers (New York, NY), 2003; Trampoline, edited by Kelly Link, Small Beer Press (Northampton, MA), 2003; The Dark: New Ghost Stories, edited by Ellen Datlow, Tor Books (New York, NY), 2004; and on Web sites such as Scifi.com. Also contributor of articles to various publications, including LAWeekly.
Much of Glen Hirshberg's fiction is considered horror genre writing, and many of his works, particularly his short pieces, are ghost stories. Hirshberg has won awards from the International Horror Guild and has also been applauded by critics for his realistic portrayal of adolescent characters.
In The Snowman's Children, the Detroit landscape of Mattie Rhodes's childhood is haunted by the specter of a serial child killer. By the age of twenty-seven, Mattie is unhappily married, aimless, and dissatisfied. His present situation causes Mattie to remember the days when "The Snowman" prowled the streets, boldly snatching children in daylight attacks. The murders remain unsolved, and Mattie's family moves away after the traumatic killings. Seeking relief from his current dead-end situation, Mattie returns to Detroit to seek out Spencer and Theresa, his two best friends from childhood. Denver Post reviewer Robin Vidimos commented, "Hirshberg spends a fair amount of time—none of it wasted—explaining why this trio has developed such loyalty. The result holds the tension of a thriller combined with an insight into character more often found in literary than in genre fiction."
A Kirkus Reviews critic called The Snowman's Children "A chilling debut," noting that the novel is "haunting and sharply rendered: a thriller that leaves the reader even more disturbed at story's end." Carolyn See, writing in the Washington Post, commented that the "technically perfect, beautifully rendered childhood" of Mattie and his friends "is what makes The Snowman's Children so powerful." Vidimos concluded that Hirshberg's writing "holds the reader's interest from the first page to the last. He's as comfortable with loose ends as he is with life's realities, and in real life there are unsolved mysteries."
Hirshberg's collection of short stories The Two Sams is "concerned more with psychology and history than with things that go bump in the night," observed Ray Olson in Booklist. Jackie Cassada, writing in Library Journal, called the book a "literate, thoughtful, and affecting" collection. In the title story, a father continues his parental obligations to his two children, who died years before. In "Mr. Dark's Carnival," a story that resonates with Ray Bradbury's works, a college professor visits a legendary funhouse on Halloween and finds the carnival terror becoming real and personal. The prank-pulling punk of "Struwwelpeter" may just be delusional—or there may be something haunting the house that serves as the epicenter of his Halloween sprees. Hirshberg, remarked a Publishers Weekly reviewer, "shows uncommon talent for insinuating the supernatural into scenarios grounded in credible reality and for maintaining ambiguity until the moment of prime emotional impact."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, October 1, 2002, Joanne Wilkinson, review of The Snowman's Children, p. 301; September 15, 2003, Ray Olson, review of The Two Sams: Ghost Stories, p. 218.
Denver Post, December 8, 2002, Robin Vidimos, "Author's Inaugural Effort Inspiring: Characters, Story Replete in Mystery," review of The Snowman's Children, section EE, p. 2.
Fantasy & Science Fiction, March, 2004, Elizabeth Hand, review of The Two Sams, p. 34.
Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2002, review of The Snowman's Children, p. 1336; August 15, 2003, review of The Two Sams, p. 1037.
Library Journal, September 15, 2003, Jackie Cassada, review of The Two Sams: Ghost Stories, p. 96.
Publishers Weekly, December 9, 2002, review of The Snowman's Children, p. 62; September 15, 2003, review of The Two Sams, p. 49.
Washington Post, January 3, 2003, Carolyn See, "Cold Horror," review of The Snowman's Children, section C, p. 3.
Glen Hirshberg Home Page,http://www.glenhirshberg.com (August 6, 2004).*