Ask a Book Question: The 31st in a Series (Who is Wells Tower?)

November 10, 2004 | 3 books mentioned 2 2 min read

Lou writes in trying to track down some info on a young writer:

What can you tell me about the writer Wells Tower? I’ve only seen three published works by him, but his writing is quite amazing. His piece in the newest Pushcart Prize was brilliant.

I hadn’t heard of Wells Tower before Lou wrote in with this question, but after doing a little research, and reading some of his work, I would definitely say that Tower is a writer to keep an eye on. When his first published story appeared in the Paris Review in 2001, Tower was in the MFA program at Columbia according to Maud Newton’s interview with the executive editor of the Review, Brigid Hughes. Since then he has continued to do well. His Pushcart prizewinning story “Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned” appears in The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories, and he has a story in McSweeney’s 14. He has also written some substantial non-fiction for the Washington Post Magazine, including a great article called The Deep End — “At 13, George Romero is beginning to navigate a world of romance, danger and possibility. The Wheaton-Glenmont Pool is a good place to start.” And another called Rhyme & Reason — “Can a rapper whose street cred is complicated by a college degree become the next big thing in hip-hop?” The only other thing I was able to dig up on Tower is that he was once in a band called Hellbender. If Mr. Tower ever happens upon this blog, I hope he will email me so we can find out what he’s up to. Thanks for the question, Lou! Keep them coming everybody!

Update: A number of Tower’s pieces are now available at his publisher’s website. In addition, Tower’s short story collection, Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned comes out in March. He also appeared in our Year in Reading in 2008.

created The Millions and is its publisher. He and his family live in New Jersey.