Maxine Swann

Maxine Swann

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Maxine Swann

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Maxine Swann (born February 11, 1969) is an American author of fiction.


Maxine Swann grew up on a farm in southern Pennsylvania, before attending Phillips Academy and then Columbia College, where she studied with Mary Gordon, graduating in 1994.

She pursued her graduate studies at the Sorbonne, Université de Paris VII, earning her master's degree in 1997 with a thesis on the style of Marcel Proust. She now lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Insights into her 2001 move to Argentina, divorce and life as an ex-pat writer were the subject of a "At Home Abroad" column of The New York Times on June 19, 2008.


Swann's work first appeared in Ploughshares, in an issue guest-edited by Mary Gordon, and she won a Cohen Award for that short story, "Flower Children", in 1997. The same story won her an O. Henry Award, the Pushcart Prize and selection by The Best American Short Stories.

At the time, Ploughshares quoted her: "All stories, I think, are in the end a very dense mixture of memory and imagination, with the doses varying each time. ‘Flower Children,’ I see now, was a story I’d been trying to write since I’d begun writing. It is, in a sense, a condensation of nearly all the stories, pages, and even poems that I wrote in grade school, high school, and then college. In her writing class at Columbia, Mary Gordon, taking my efforts seriously, pressed me further towards it, also introducing me to the Austrian writer......
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