Ellen Kushner

Ellen Kushner

It’s not that Ellen Kushner can’t hold a job; it’s just that she’s got a lot of interests. She began as the fantasy editor for Ace Books in NYC, but quit to write her first novel, Swordspoint: a Melodrama of Manners. The month it was published, she moved to Boston to become a classical music announcer on WGBH radio, where her overnight slot eventually morphed into her own national public radio series of talk and multicultural music, Sound & Spirit, which ran for 12 years nationally and won some awards. Thanks to that, she got to tour with everything from lectures to live performances of one-woman shows.

During that time she also published Thomas the Rhymer, which won both the Mythopoeic and the World Fantasy Awards. She returned to the world of Swordspoint with two more related novels: The Fall of the Kings (written with her wife, the novelist and educator Delia Sherman) and The Privilege of the Sword (Locus Award, Nebula nominee).

The month it was published, she and Delia moved back to New York City. There Ellen got back in touch with her passion for performance: she adapted her children’s book (which began as an album with Shirim Klezmer Orchestra) The Golden Dreydl: a Klezmer Nutcracker, for the stage with Vital Theater, playing one of her own characters onstage. She then narrated and co-produced her three Swordspoint novels for the Neil Gaiman Presents audiobook line. Her latest venture is Tremontaine, a collaborative serial prequel to Swordspoint.

She lives with her wife, Delia Sherman, in a colorful apartment on the Upper West Side, with no pets, too many books, and a lot of theater ticket stubs she just can’t bear to throw away. Follow her shenanigans at @EllenKushner

TLDR: Ellen Kushner’s novel Swordspoint introduced readers to the city to which she has returned in two more novels and the collaborative serial prequel, Tremontaine. A longtime performer and public radio host, she narrated all three as audiobooks for Neil Gaiman Presents. Her award-winning Thomas the Rhymer is a Gollancz “Fantasy Masterwork.” With Holly Black, she co-edited Welcome to Bordertown. She has taught writing at Clarion, Odyssey, and Hollins University. She lives in New York City with her wife, author and educator Delia Sherman. Follow her shenanigans online at @EllenKushner

Suzie Townsend

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