Author Archives: Peter Selgin

About Peter Selgin

Peter Selgin is the author of Drowning Lessons, winner of the 2007 Flannery O’Connor Award for Fiction, Life Goes to the Movies, a novel, two books on the craft of fiction, and several children’s books. His memoir, Confessions of a Left-Handed Man, was short-listed for the William Saroyan International Prize. His latest novel, The Water Master, won the William Faulkner Society Prize, selected by Random House Senior Editor Will Murphy. His work has won the Missouri Review Editors’ Prize, the Dana Award, six Best American Essay notable essay citations, and two selections for the Best American series. A second memoir, The Inventors, is forthcoming from Hawthorne Books in April of 2016. He teaches at Antioch University’s MFA program and is Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Georgia College & State University.


Published by Scribner’s in 1926, the first edition featured a Hellenistic jacket design illustrated by Cleonike Damianekes. The illustration, printed in a medley of beiges and browns, depicts a loosely-robed, exhausted-looking woman inclined against an even more tired-looking tree, her … Continue reading

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Papa’s New York: from THE INVENTORS

You’d leave on Friday mornings. The trip took just a little over an hour, but you might as well have been taking off for Pluto or Neptune, it seemed so very far. As your father backed the Simca around the … Continue reading

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My Father and Mr. Aiken

During that first year at Harvard, my father met a man who, had circumstances been ever-so-slightly different, would have altered the course of his professional life. That someone was an older graduate student named Howard Aiken. Tall and handsome, with piercing, … Continue reading

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The Story of the Nomoscope

Patent No. 2,646,717: The Nomoscope. “Device for the Identification of Documents or Printed Matter,” aka the dollar bill changing machine.” At dinner parties my inventor papa would quip, “Yes, that’s right, I invented the first machine that gave change for a dollar bill … Continue reading

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