Writer and editor Laura Furman was born in New York and educated at Hunter College High School and Bennington College. For many years, she taught in the English Department of the University of Texas at Austin, where she was Susan Taylor McDaniel Regents Professor of Creative Writing. While at UT Austin, she founded the literary journal American Short Fiction. Her first story appeared in The New Yorker in 1976, and since then fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Southwest Review, Ploughshares, Mademoiselle, Preservation, Mirabella, and House & Garden, among others. Her books include four collections of short stories, two novels, and a memoir, and she is the ninth series editor of The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, published annually by Anchor Books. Each year, she picks the twenty winning stories and writes an introduction for the volume. Her new book is The Mother Who Stayed: Stories.
Furman read from her work on April 21, 2011, in Cornell’s Goldwin Smith Hall. This interview took place earlier the same day.