Michelle Herman is the author of eight books, mostly recently the novel “Devotion” (2016) and the essay collection “Like A Song” (2015). Her 2013 essay collection, “Stories We Tell Ourselves,” was longlisted for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay.
Herman was born and grew up in Brooklyn and educated at Brooklyn College and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She has lived for many years in Columbus, Ohio, with her husband, the artist Glen Holland (www.glenholland.com). Her first book, “Missing,” won the Harold Ribalow Prize for best Jewish fiction in 1990; subsequent honors include an NEA Fellowship, a James Michener Fellowship, numerous artist’s fellowships from the state of Ohio, and several major teaching awards from Ohio State, where she has taught creative writing and literature since 1988 and where she directs both the MFA Program in Creative Writing and the Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in the Fine Arts. Her stories, novellas, and personal essays have appeared in such journals as The North American Review, The Southern Review, Story Quarterly, American Scholar, and O, the Oprah Magazine. When not writing or teaching, she can usually be found singing–jazz standards, her own songs, gospel/R&B/pop songs with The Harmony Project (www.harmonyproject.com), or with her husband’s band, bottleflies. Her newest collection of essays, “Like A Song,” is mostly about singing, music, and performance–as well as other subjects for which she is well-known: friendship, family, love. Her first book for children, illustrated by her husband and featuring an introduction by their daughter, Grace Herman-Holland–for whom the book was originally written, when Grace was eight years old–“A Girl’s Guide to Life,” was published in 2015.