Meet our TQ4 Prose Open Contest judge: EJ Levy

EJ Levy


EJ Levy’s debut story collection Love, In Theory won the 2012 Flannery O’Connor Award, a 2013 ForeWord Book of the Year Award, and the 2014 Great Lakes College Association New Writers Award. Previous winners of the GLCA New Writers Award include Louise Erdrich, Alice Munro, Richard Ford, Andrew Hudgins, Ander Monson, Mary Szybist, and Alan Heathcock. A French edition of Love, In Theory is forthcoming from Editions Rivages. Levy’s work has appeared in Best American Essays, Paris Review, and The New York Times, and won a Pushcart Prize, among other honors. Her anthology, Tasting Life Twice: Literary Lesbian Fiction by New American Writers, received a Lambda Literary Award. She is an Assistant Professor in the MFA Program at Colorado State University and on the editorial staffs of Fourth Genre and The Kenyon Review.
Of Love, In Theory, the GLCA judges wrote:


E.J. Levy’s writing in this collection of ten stories is poetic and seamless. Her characterization is smart, fearless, and, most of all, incredibly compassionate. The stories are complex, surprising in their depth of scope and character, and frequently go in unexpected directions that challenge a reader to think about love in new (very bleak) ways. Love, in Theory is a collection of stories that firmly coheres. It approaches the subject of infidelity in a complicated way. Smart, complex, funny, and serious, Levy’s stories explore the lives of academics, artists, and laymen (women), lovers all. The language in Love, in Theory surprises a reader thoroughly and often. She complicates familiar territory. This is a collection about love, after all, about affairs of the heart, and yet it feels entirely new. While these stories are never repetitive, Levy does mine a few deep, rich veins that create a thematic cohesion throughout the collection, resulting in stories populated with multifaceted people: real people.


EJ looks for a distinctive sensibility when reading fiction and nonfiction: “I want the experience of looking through new eyes, of a particular mind meeting the world, refracting it on its own terms. Language, line, observation all inform this, but ultimately it comes down to a writer having the courage to see for him- or herself and rendering that vision in words.”