Samar Farah Fitzgerald

Fiction Writer

Staunton, VA
Virginia US

Author's Bio

I grew up in northern New Jersey, in a first-generation Lebanese-American home. As a writer, I have spent a lot of time thinking about my family's early years in America—wondering if I can trust my memory or not. Ultimately, I side with Joan Didion: "Not only have I always had trouble distinguishing between what happened and what merely might have happened, but I remain unconvinced that the distinction, for my purposes, matters.” As a fiction writer, my job is to invent narratives. Often, I like to begin with “what merely might have happened.”

Some of my short stories have nothing to do with being Lebanese. Some take place in the Middle East, and others occur in some vague East Coast city. My first novel is in the final stages of revision. It is about a Lebanese-American photographer whose parents have repatriated to Lebanon, and it's set in Boston, New Jersey, and Beirut. When I'm not writing fiction, I'm teaching it at James Madison University in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. 

Publications & Prizes

The O. Henry Prize Stories (Alfred A. Knopf, 2013)
Prizes won: 

Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Fellowship (2019); Macdowell Fellowship (2017); Ragdale Fellowship (2017); O. Henry Prize in Fiction (2013); Virginia Commission for the Arts Fellowship (2011); Friends of Creative Writing Award (University of Wisconsin, 2008); August Derleth Prize in Creative Writing (University of Wisconsin, 2008)

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
Arab American
Born in: 
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Last update: Oct 10, 2022