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Dan Chaon Edit Profile

writer , English language educator

Dan Chaon, American English language educator, writer. Individual artist grantee Illinois Arts Council, 1988, Ohio Arts Council, 1995.


Chaon, Dan was born on June 11, 1964 in Omaha. Son of Earl D. and Teresa N. (Tallmage) Chaon.


Bachelor, Northwestern University, 1986; Master of Arts, Syracuse University, 1990.


Chaon's last name is pronounced "Shawn". His first novel was. He was awarded the 2006 Academy Award in Literature from The American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Chaon was adopted and grew up in a village of 20 people outside of Sidney, Nebraska. His father was a construction worker and his mother was a stay-at-home mom. As a middle schooler, Chaon wrote a fan letter to Ray Bradbury, beginning a correspondence that continued for several years.

Chaon graduated from Northwestern and received his MFA from Syracuse. He lives in Cleveland Heights, Ohio and teaches creative writing at Oberlin College, where he has worked with such students as Ishmael Beah, Emma Straub, and Lena Dunham.


  • His short-story collections Fitting Ends (1996) and Among the Missing (2001) were both well-received. The latter was a finalist for a National Book Award and was also named one of the year's ten best books by the American Library Association and as a notable book of the year by The New York Times. His 2012 short story collection, Stay Awake, was a finalist for The Story Prize.

    Chaon's short stories have won the Pushcart Prize and the O. Henry Award and have been included in the Best American Short Stories of 1996 and 2003.



Married Sheila M. Schwartz, June 4, 1989. Children: Philip, Paul.

Earl D. Chaon

Teresa N. (Tallmage) Chaon

Sheila M. Schwartz

Paul Chaon

Philip Chaon