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Amy Hempel 

Fun Fact

Amy Hempel’s shortest story is the 17-word “Memoir”: “Just once in my life—oh, when have I ever wanted anything just once in my life?” 
Amy Hempel 
Born: 12/14/1951 
Location: Michael Reese Hospital 
Hometown: Chicago 
Grammar School:  
High School:  

Amy Hempel is one of the most important writers of the 20th century. Born in Chicago, she was raised in California and later moved to New York where she studied under Gordon Lish. Hempel’s story, “In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried,” is one of the most extensively anthologized stories of the last 25 years.

Hempel has won or been a finalist for nearly every major writing award, and achieved renewed notoriety when Chuck Palahniuk published articles praising her as his favorite author. Hempel, whose stories range from a single sentence to novella-length, also “socializes” seeing eye dogs.

View some readings of Amy Hempel's work at:

"The Man in Bogota":

"Why I Am Here":