Thaisa Frank

Location Berkeley California
Occupation fiction writer

Books by Thaisa Frank

  • by Thaisa Frank
    Black Sparrow Pr, 1997-09.

  • by Thaisa Frank
    Black Sparrow Press, 1992.

  • by Thaisa Frank, Dorothy Wall
    St. Martin's Griffin, 1996.

  • by Thaisa Frank
    Counterpoint, 2012.
  • About Me

    Upcoming stories: Great Jones Street, Strange Attractions, ed. Edie Meidev

    "The New Thieves" winner of international fiction prize, celebrating Flash Fiction Day

    Enchantment Counterpoint Press 2012, Best Books SF Chronicle

    3-time Pushcart nominee
    3-time nominee NCRA

    Forthcoming novel, Heidegger's Glasses (in the fall) see description below. (Counterpoint Press; foreign rights sold to Italy, Holland, Norway, Spain, France, Poland, Portugal and Brazil.

    Thaisa Frank's short stories have received two PEN awards and her two most recent collections Sleeping in Velvet, (1998) and A Brief History of Camouflage, (1992) have been on the Bestseller List of the San Francisco Chronicle and were nominated for the Bay Area Book Reviewer's Association Award. A Brief History of Camouflage was included in Dalton's New Voices. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies, including Harper Collins' Reader's Choice. Frank has also written Finding Your Writer's Voice, co-authored with Dorothy Wall. It has been compared to Brenda Uleland's book, If You Want To Write and has been translated into Portuguese and Spanish. She has taught writing in the graduate department of San Francisco State, is on the part-time faculty at the University of San Francisco and has been Visiting Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California at Berkeley. Recently, Frank penned an afterword for Voltaire's Candide, Zadig and Selected Stories.

    Why do you write?

    I think there are different animals in the world. Logician-animals. Anthropology-animals. Mechanic-animals. Entrepreneur-animals. Etc. When I wrote my first story at eight I knew I was a writer-animal, but I tried to escape my species. Vanished into philosophy of science, then becane a therapist. Eventually threw in the towel and wrote my first book--a collection of prose poems the size of a Hallmark greeting card that made some Best Books lists. I wrote something longer. And then something longer. Yet I don't know what fuels my creativity. Perhaps I'm hanging out at the pneumatic tube of the imagination when some other writer isn't so I get a title or a phrase and beat it it like a pinata until a book falls out.

    Any favorite authors? Books?

    I like all the gloomy eastern Europeans. Kafka and Schulz, for example. And Boll, Gogol, and Celan. I also like Borges and Manguel. And I.B. Singer's short stories. (He was definitely a magic realist in the best sense--perhaps better than many of the South American writers.) And Monterosso.
    Indebted to Joyce--especially The Sisters in The Dubliners because it's a great example of how there can be almost no plot but increasing momentum and narrative arc.
    Always have liked As I Lay Dying (Faulkner) and (like so many women) Pride and Prejudice. A great fan of some Scandinavian writers (Sigrid Undset and Par Lagerqvist). I love poetry--too numerous to mention. Wallace Stevens and his ideas about imagination no doubt made me feel less lonely as a teenager. I love William Stafford. The last novel I read that captivated me was Remainder by Tom McCarthy--a British writer whose book was first published in the Paris underground, became a cult hit, then migrated back to England and finally to America. I like writing that gives me the sense that narrative is unfolding in real space and time and I am inside of it.

    Thaisa Frank's Wall

    Robert Vaughan – Jun 14, 2010

    So thrilled you are on Fictionaut, Thaisa. Happy to find you here, as well as on FN. Have a great week!

    Cherise Wolas – May 30, 2010

    So a New Yorker now in Berkeley. I'm a Los Angeleno who started out at Berkeley, before moving to NY and film school.

    Something in your interview has really stuck with me, having to hold down the creative while working as a psychoanalyst. When I started law school, I felt so limited by the facts of the case on a page, always wanting to know more of what was going in the "story", beyond the four corners of the page!

    Gary Percesepe – May 27, 2010

    geez, i used to teach heidegger for a living, then derrida & foucault. now i have to run out and get heidegger's glasses, just when i had forgotten nietzsche's unbrella--

    glad you are here,


    Cherise Wolas – May 27, 2010

    I just finished the interview you did with Meg Pokrass. I am eager to read your work, the short story collections and your forthcoming novel (congrats on that!). Much of what you said in the interview I fully agree with!

    Thaisa Frank – Apr 26, 2010

    Hi Marcy...How did I miss this? I remember that night!

    Marcy Dermansky – Sep 30, 2009

    About fifteen years ago, I went out for a drink with you and Ron Nyren in San Francisco. You made an observation that you thought some patients were more interesting before they went into therapy. I never forgot it. Welcome to Fictionaut.

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