Ryan Boudinot

Headshot of Ryan BoudinotEducation

B.A., The Evergreen State College, 1995
M.F.A., Bennington College, 1999


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Biographical Note

Ryan Boudinot is the author of the story collection The Littlest Hitler (Counterpoint, 2006) and the novel Misconception (Grove Atlantic/Black Cat, 2009). His work has appeared in The Best American Nonrequired Reading, McSweeney's, Real Unreal: Best American Fantasy, Monkeybicycle, Hobart, and other anthologies and journals. He teaches in Goddard College's MFA program and is a Writer in Residence at Richard Hugo House in Seattle.

Ryan Boudinot's book cover misconception

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Publication Excerpt

Cedar Rivers is on a strange errand. A doctor sidelined into the strange world of the first dot-com boom, he has come to Albany, New York, in between business in Iceland and home in Silicon Valley, to meet a woman he hasn’t seen in twenty years. Then a Chuck Taylor–shod proto-Goth with chipped black nail polish, Kat is now a literary up-and-comer who needs Cedar to vet her memoir—an account of the summer they were sweethearts. As if that weren’t enough, she’s written parts of it from his point of view. Through an intense weekend in a snowed-in motel room, Cedar and Kat relive their most painful memories: Before they had a chance at first love, Kat’s mother and her new fiancé dragged Kat off on a family trip. Kat returned with a secret, one which—when she shared it with Cedar—set off a series of drastically miscalculated assumptions that dominoed into a moment of startling tragedy. Misconception is a startlingly original debut novel—a smart and provocative coming-of-age story, and a fresh and witty comment on the unreliability of memory and storytelling—that establishes Ryan Boudinot as one of the most promising talents of his generation.

Additional Publications

“Cardiology,” story, Real Unreal: Best American Fantasy, Underland Press, 2010
“Donut Guy Donuts” and “I Used to Be a Plastic Bottle!”, stories, We Are The Friction (United Kingdom), 2009
“The End of Ernie and Bert,” story, Golden Handcuffs Review, Fall 2009
“An Essay and a Story About Motley Crue,” Opium, Fall 2009
“Chopsticks,” story, Monkeybicycle, 2010
“The Mine,” story, Monkeybicycle, Winter 2009
“Empty Room,” story, Looking Together: Writers on Art, University of Washington Press/Frye Art Museum, Spring 2009
“The Couch by the Stream,” story, Falcon vs. Monkey (Australia), Winter 2008
“The Armies of Elf Land,” story, The Lifted Brow (Australia), Winter 2008
"The Guy Who Kept Meeting Himself," fable, McSweeney's, Summer 2008
"On Weird Science," essay, Don't You Forget About Me: Contemporary Writers on the Movies of John Hughes, Simon Spotlight, Winter 2007
"Bee Beard," story, Los Angeles Review, Winter 2006
Several lists included in Mountain Man Dance Moves: The McSweeney's Book of Lists, Vintage, September 2006
"Why I Like Rock," essay, commissioned and performed at The Richard Hugo House, Fall 2006, as part of the Telling Childhood series. Archived on the Hugo House website.
"Newholly," story, Stumbling and Raging: More Politically Inspired Fiction, MacAdam Cage, January 2006
“Free Burgers for Life,” story, The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2005, Houghton Mifflin, October 2005, Monkeybicycle, Spring 2003
"Mark Romanek," essay, Black Book, August 2005
“The Littlest Hitler,” story, The Longwood Reader (college English composition textbook), August 2005; translated into Italian and published in a Holocaust remembrance issue of Il Diario (Italy), January 2004; anthologized in The Best American Non-Required Reading 2003, Houghton Mifflin, October 2003; originally appeared in Mississippi Review, Fall 2002.
"My Mother Was a Monster," story, Black Book, Fall 2004
"Civilization," story, McSweeney's, Summer 2004
"Written by Machines," story, Bullfight Review, Spring 2004
“Losing the Virginity of Time: The Literary Coordinates of Bruno Schulz and Isaac Babel,” essay, Post Road, Spring 2004
“Vacuum Cleaner,” story, McSweeney's, December 2003
“One of Countless Purgatories,” collaborative short story written with Lee Klein, Westchester County Journal-News, July 17, 2003
“Profession,” story, Hobart, June 2003
“Underway,” vignette, The Believer, June 2003
“(I Just) Want a Rock,” story, Spleen, Summer 2000
Interviews with authors Rick Moody, Aimee Bender, and Ken Kalfus anthologized in The Best of Pif Magazine: Offline, April 2000

How did Evergreen help you in your career?

It's all about the freaks. Evergreen is a hive of creative individuals all living together in the woods, giving one another ideas, turning one another on to amazing music, books, films, visual art, philosophy. You can take the sheer strangeness of Evergreen for granted while you're there, but once you step outside you begin to realize what a think tank of originality the place really is. While at Evergreen I designed a three-quarter individual contract to write a novel, immersed myself in media studies, and met hilarious, incredible people who changed my life. I feel incredibly lucky to have been a Greener.