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Karen Bender


MFA Faculty Member


MFA - Creative Writing


Karen Bender is the author of two story collections: “Refund,” which was a finalist for the National Book Award in Fiction, shortlisted for the 2015 Frank O’Connor International Story Prize and also longlisted for the Story Prize. Her collection, “The New Order,” was longlisted for the Story Prize in 2018. She is the author of two novels, “Like Normal People,” which was a Washington Post Book of the Year and a Los Angeles Times bestseller, and “A Town of Empty Rooms.” Her fiction has appeared in magazines including The New Yorker, Granta, Ploughshares, The Yale Review, The Harvard Review, Zoetrope, Electric Literature, Guernica and others, and has been reprinted in “Best American Short Stories,” “Best American Mystery Stories” and “New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best.”