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Texas State University

Téa Obreht named Endowed Chair in Creative Writing at Texas State

Featured Faculty

Jayme Blaschke | November 14, 2019

obreht headshot
(Photo Credit: Ilan Harel)

Award-winning author Téa Obreht has been named the Texas State University Endowed Chair in Creative Writing for 2020-2021.

Obreht was born in Belgrade, in the former Yugoslavia, and grew up in Cyprus and Egypt before eventually immigrating to the United States. Her debut novel, "The Tiger's Wife," won the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction, and was a 2011 National Book Award finalist and an international bestseller.  

"Téa Obreht is a strikingly inventive young writer who has crafted a style all her own. Her novels burst with fully-realized characters, vivid settings, surprising plots, rich and unexpected language, wisdom, magic, heart and writerly verve," said Doug Dorst, director of the MFA program in creative writing. "I’m thrilled that she’ll be joining us as our next Endowed Chair and teaching, inspiring and supporting our students as they develop their own distinctive visions and voices. I’m tremendously grateful to the university for again making it possible for us to bring in a writer of tremendous skill and renown."

Obreht's work has been anthologized in "The Best American Short Stories" and "The Best American Non-Required Reading," and has appeared in "The New Yorker," "Harper's," "The Atlantic," "Vogue," "Esquire" and "Zoetrope: All-Story," among many others. She was the recipient of the Rona Jaffe fellowship from the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library and a 2016 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She was a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree, and was named by "The New Yorker" as one of the 20 best American fiction writers under 40.

Each year, the University Endowed Chair in Creative Writing teaches one graduate MFA workshop. The chair holder also visits classes and gives two readings.

National Book Award Winner Tim O'Brien held the chair every other year from 1999 through 2012. Previous chair holders include the poet Ai, Barry Hannah, Denis Johnson, Robert Stone, Cristina Garcia, Ben Fountain and Karen Russell.

For more information, contact University Communications:

Jayme Blaschke, 512-245-2555

Sandy Pantlik, 512-245-2922