Douglas Unger

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Douglas Arthur Unger (born June 27, 1952) is an American novelist.

Life and work

Unger was born in Moscow, Idaho. He received a BA from the University of Chicago in 1973 and a MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa in 1977.

Unger has written four novels, including his 1984 debut, Leaving the Land, which was a finalist for the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, and received the Society of Midland Authors Award for Fiction and a Hemingway Foundation/PEN Special Citation.

His short stories are collected in Looking for War (2004). "Leslie and Sam", a story from that collection, was short-listed for the 2002 O. Henry Award and named a distinguished story in Best American Short Stories 2002.

He has been an editor for three literary journals—Chicago Review, The Iowa Review, and Point of Contact—as well as an essayist for the MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour and a screenwriter.

From 1983 to 1991, Unger taught creative writing at Syracuse University. During this time he advised George Saunders on his MA thesis.[1] In 1991 he joined the faculty of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he co-founded the MFA program in creative writing.

Unger was inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame in 2007.[2]



  • Leaving the Land (Harper & Row, 1984)
  • El Yanqui (Harper & Row, 1986)
  • The Turkey War (Harper & Row, 1988)
  • Voices from Silence (St. Martin's, 1995)

Story collections

  • Looking for War (Ontario Review Press, 2004)


  1. ^ Saunders, George. "My Writing Education: A Time Line". Condé Nast. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  2. ^ "Nevada Writers Hall of Fame: Douglas A. Unger". University of Nevada. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  • Douglas Unger's curriculum vitae at the Wayback Machine (archived September 3, 2006) (Google cache page)

External links

  • Douglas Unger's website
  • Unger's faculty page at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • "Point of Contact: 30 Years" a talk by Douglas Unger on the history of the journal Point of Contact
  • An interview with Douglas Unger, by Jarret Keene from turnrow, Summer 2004 vol. 3.2
  • Nevada Writers Hall of Fame
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