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John McManus is the author of four books of fiction: the short story collections Fox Tooth Heart, Born on a Train, and Stop Breakin Down and the novel Bitter Milk. His fiction has appeared in McSweeney’s, Tin House, Ploughshares, American Short Fiction, Electric Literature, The Oxford American, and many other journals. He is the recipient of the Whiting Writers’ Award, the Fellowship of Southern Writers’ New Writing Award, a Fulbright Scholar award in South Africa, the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Literature Award, and a Creative Capital Literature grant.

McManus’s Master of Fine Arts in fiction and screenwriting comes from the James A. Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas. He has been in residence at the Corporation of Yaddo, The Djerassi Residents Artists Program, the Ucross Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Caldera Arts, Fundación Valparaiso, the Robert M. MacNamara Foundation. The Dora Maar House in Menerbes, France, awarded him the Brown Foundation Fellowship. He held the Bay and Paul Foundation Fellowship at New York’s Millay Colony for the Arts. Theaters where McManus has been a dramaturg/script doctor on projects in development include the Atlantic Theatre Company, New York Stage & Film, The Lark, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. In 2020 and 2021 he was a fellow in dramaturgy at the Banff Playwrights Lab. He is adapting his novel Bitter Milk for the screen.


McManus teaches at Old Dominion University's MFA creative writing program in Norfolk, Virginia. He divides his time between there and New York, where he lives with his husband, the playwright and theatre director Kareem Fahmy.

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