Called a “raw new voice in American fiction” by Rolling Stone, Pushcart Prize winner Max Zimmer was born in Switzerland, brought across the Atlantic at the age of four, and raised in Utah in the crucible of the Mormon faith. He earned a B.A. and an M.A. from the University of Utah and was teaching fiction, working on a doctorate, when he was invited east for a summer at Yaddo, the writer’s retreat in Saratoga, New York. From Yaddo he took a job teaching fiction at SUNY Oswego. It was there that If Where You’re Going Isn’t Home was first conceived. From Oswego, Max gravitated toward the city, lived and tended bar in Manhattan, and eventually moved to the northwest corner of New Jersey, where he married his wife Toni and settled in to write If Where You’re Going Isn’t Home from the beginning. The East had become his home. Utah had become a place he wrote about.
Aside from the trilogy, Max’s published work includes poems, stories, reviews, magazine articles, short biographies, and liner notes for jazz albums. His first published story “Utah Died for Your Sins” was awarded the Pushcart Prize. Ray Carver, Jack Cady, Grace Paley, Lewis Turco, and John Gardner are among established writers who have expressed their high regard and admiration for his work. E. L. Doctorow called Max’s writing the best he’d seen on a college tour following the release of Ragtime. After meeting him on a similar tour following the publication of Falconer, John Cheever enthusiastically promoted Max’s work for the last five years of his life.
As a break from the long and ambitious project that If Where You’re Going Isn’t Home has been, Max still writes poetry, short fiction, and an anything-goes human interest column under the heading “Actual Mileage” – inspired by a Ray Carver story – for an automotive magazine with an international readership.
Learn more at maxzimmer.com.
- JoinedJune 15, 2013