wordpressheadshotI grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where I attended an all-girls’ high school.

I’m the author of the novel Whores on the Hill (Vintage Original). My short stories have appeared in places like Alaska Quarterly Review, Glimmer Train, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Blackbird and Mid-American Review.

I also edited the anthology Altared: Bridezillas, Bewilderment, Big Love, Breakups, and What Women Really Think About Contemporary Weddings (Anchor Books).

I’ve been awarded a Theresa Pollak Award for Excellence in the Arts from Richmond Magazine. I’ve taught creative writing at Virginia Commonwealth University. Currently, I’m a staff writer for the Richmond Times-Dispatch where I cover arts and entertainment.

I live with my husband and two sons in Richmond, Virginia.

  1. I have read your article on the VEC and would like to send you information to follow up. My friend and I have written to the governor about our frustration with with the agency. We are not dependent upon VEC payments as we are retired so are not in the dire straits your subjects in the article are. Bob is retired from corporate work and I from federal government. Our focus is on how poorly done the agency outreach is done. Until recently it took 5 minutes and 31 seconds of telephone system menu prompts to learn that no one is available to answer your call. The system was filled with program names and acronyms none of which the applicant could differentiate as we are applying for “unemployment insurance” and the agent finds the applicable program for the customer. Sitting through that and redialing took hours of the day., and were a source of depression I was able to get more program information by looking at a West Virginia news source and WV employment commissioner news releases. I wrote the governor and commissioner several times and since January the phone system has improved so I get the no one is available message in less than a minute.

    The new website looks nice however it lacks useful help screens and I’ve filled out several applications with it but have no way of knowing if I am applying for the right program. There could have been a mass email directing people to apply for program x. There was none. On 2/11 they sent me a letter for benefits from 1/2/21 through 3/13/21, giving me 11 weeks of benefits. On 2/13 they sent a letter that benefits end on 2/20. Because of problems with US Mail I got both letters on the same day. What happened to the other weeks? The old website had instant messaging and a secure email function that I found after several weeks of looking around. VEC seems better at building walls against communication rather than a bridge.

    The agents do a wonderful job and I appreciate that they are doing their best. Doing a “soft credit report” would probably show current address to be a prison though. That could have save $40 million right there!

    I have aired this and many other frustrations to the governor. I can send you copies if you wish to pursue the matter.

    Thanks and keep up the good work.


  2. Hi I also go to an All girls High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and found this book very interesting. My school is also on a hill.


  3. I just finished Whores on the Hill in almost one sitting (had to take a break to paddle the James on this fine Sat. morning). I don’t normally email authors, but I loved the book. You captured that crazy, magical, mercurial time perfectly. I am 46, went to a small private school school on the Southside (of Richmond) and dated St. Gertrude’s girls; so the book really took me back. Again, thanks for a great read!

    P.A. Knight


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