Amy Hempel is an American short story writer, journalist, and university professor at Brooklyn College. Hempel was a former student of Gordon Lish, who eventually helped her publish her first collection of short stories. Hempel has been published in Harper's, Vanity Fair, GQ, and Bomb. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, as well as the Ambassador Book Award in 2007, the Rea Award for the Short Story in 2008, and the Pen/Malamud Award for short fiction in 2009.
Amy Hempel is the author of books: The Collected Stories, Reasons to Live, Tumble Home: A Novella and Short Stories, The Dog of the Marriage: Stories, At the Gates of the Animal Kingdom: Stories, Sing to It: New Stories, Unleashed: Poems by Writers' Dogs, In The Cemetery Where Al Jolsen is Buried, New Stories from the South 2010: The Year's Best, The Best Small Fictions 2017
In "Offertory," a modern-day Scheherazade entertains and manipulates her lover with stories of her sexual encounters with a married couple as a very young woman. In "Reference # 388475848-5," a letter contesting a parking ticket becomes a beautiful and unnerving statement of faith. In "Jesus Is Waiting," a woman driving to New York sends a series of cryptically honest postcards to an old lover. And the title story is a heartbreaking tale about the objects and animals and unmired desires that are left behind after death or divorce.
These nine stories teem with wisdom, emotion, and surprising wit. Hempel explores the intricate psychology of people falling in and out of love, trying to locate something or someone elusive or lost. Her sentences are as lean, original, and startling as any in contemporary fiction.