Ron Carlson was born in Utah and raised in Salt Lake City. His nine works of fiction include his novel Five Skies (Viking), his story collection At the Jim Bridger (Picador), and A Kind of Flying (collected stories, Norton). His accolades include Pushcart and O. Henry Prizes and a National Society of Arts and Letters Literature award. He is also the recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Carlson is the newly named director of the Graduate MFA Program in Fiction at the University of California at Irvine.