Erin McGraw

Born: 1957

Ohio connection: Resident


Erin McGraw was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Eva Marie and C. Thomas McGraw. She attended the University of California-Davis, earning an A.B. in 1979, and Indiana University-Bloomington, where she earned her M.F.A. in 1986. McGraw’s first two books, Bodies at Sea (1989) and Lies of the Saints, feature collections of McGraw’s short fiction. Published in 1996, Lies of the Saints offers readers nine stories, many of which highlight, in a seemingly lighthearted way, the difficulties of family life. While married couples quarrel, husbands toil just to break even, and teenagers rebel against their parents. Her work is represented in anthologies, including Pushcart Prize XXI: Best of the Small Presses. She is a contributor of stories, essays, and reviews to periodicals, including Story, Southern Review, Southern Indiana Review, North American Review, Ascent, Atlantic Monthly, California Quarterly, and Georgia Review. McGraw was associate editor of fiction 1983-84 and editor, 1984-85. McGraw was an instructor and professor of English at DePauw University and the University of Cincinnati before joining the faculty of The Ohio State University, where she is, currently, professor of English.

Career award, National Society of Arts and Letters, 1985; General Electric Award for Younger Writers, 1987; fellow, Yaddo Colony, 1988; Wallace Stegner fellow in creative writing, Stanford University, 1989-90; grant from Ohio Arts Council, 1994 and 2002; Lies of the Saints was named a “notable book for 1996,” New York Times; Pushcart Prize, 1996, for Daily Affirmations; Ohioana Book Award, 1997, for Lies of the Saints; Ohioana Book Award (fiction) Finalist, 2009, for The Seamstress of Hollywood Boulevard.