Marshall Klimasewiski

​Senior Writer in Residence
MFA, Bowling Green State University
MA, Boston University
research interests:
  • Fiction Writing
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    • Washington University
    • CB 1122
    • One Brookings Drive
    • St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
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    Marshall Klimasewiski is a fiction writer who teaches a variety of graduate and undergraduate workshops, as well as creative-critical craft courses connected to some of his research interests, including story sequences and composite novels, intertextual work across genres, and contemporary historical fiction.

    Marshall Klimasewiski is the author of two books, both published by W. W. Norton: The Cottages, a novel, and Tyrants, a collection of interconnected stories. His fiction has appeared in many magazines and journals, including The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Conjunctions, Ploughshares, Tin House, TriQuarterly, and The Yale Review, and his stories have been anthologized in Best American Short Stories and The Best of Tin House: Stories. He has received fellowships and individual grants from the Howard Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

    More recently, his fiction involving researched, biographically-oriented historical fiction (concerning figures like Joseph Stalin’s housekeeper, or Arctic explorers and aviators Salomon August Andrée and Umberto Nobile) has evolved into a series of short pieces that merge aspects of fictional practice with a nonfiction writer’s fidelity to the historical record. These collages are composed almost entirely out of documents and sometimes include images as well. They attempt to find or construct neglected narratives in the archives of writers and artists, but to do so while limiting the biographer’s role to selection and composition, rather than the creation of an additional voice on the page. The new work has begun to appear in journals like Conjunctions (a piece on William Gaddis, and another on Edward Gorey, which can be found here) and the New England Review (on the long and complicated friendship between Elizabeth Bowen and Virginia Woolf).

    Originally from Connecticut, Marshall has taught in the Writing Program at Washington University since 1999.


    • L13 221: Fiction Writing 1
    • L13 321: Fiction Writing 2
    • L13 421: Advanced Fiction Writing
    • L13 521: Graduate Fiction Workshop
    • Craft of Fiction: Historical Fiction
    • Craft of Fiction: Dialogue
    • Craft of Fiction: The Novella
    • Craft of Fiction: Story Cycles
    Tyrants: Stories

    Tyrants: Stories

    The grouped stories in Tyrants trace the many forms of emotional inheritance―cultural, romantic, and historical. Some deftly portray both time and place, while others mine interpersonal relations with such intimacy and truth that they could be set anytime, anywhere. In the first sequence of stories, a son inherits and reconsiders his father’s convoluted and extravagant notions about love, sex, wealth, and fatherhood. In the second, an American man and his Korean wife confront the cultural implications of a romantic, self-imposed exile. And in the historical fictions that complete the collection, love and flight, ambition, exploration, and exile intertwine in a helium balloon above Sweden, in an Italian airship at the North Pole, and in Stalin’s dacha during the Nazi invasion. Marshall N. Klimasewiski’s talent for “deft psychological triangulations” (New York Times Book Review) and for capturing “the subtle dynamics between people” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) is on full display here.

    The Cottagers: A Novel

    The Cottagers: A Novel

    Cyrus Collingwood, age nineteen, suspects that he may be a genius without a calling. He is a year-round resident of East Sooke, Vancouver Island, and has a natural resentment for the summer cottagers who descend on its rocky beaches. When two vacationing American couples arrive―old friends with a complicated history―they become his obsession. Greg and Nicholas are engaged in an academic collaboration that looks more like competition; Samina and Laurel are old friends who have grown apart and developed a strange jealousy. Cyrus spies on the cottagers through their windows, then begins to insinuate himself into their lives. When one of the cottagers goes missing, no one will look at any of the others the same way again.