He received his MFA from the University of California, Irvine and his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California.He is a Professor of English and Film Studies at California State University, Long Beach, and also teaches at University of California at Los Angeles.
In addition to essays and scholarly articles, his short fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review, Hot Type, Southwest Review and American Fiction. In addition, he has received the N.E.A. (National Endowment of the Arts) Creative Writing Fellowship in Fiction.Full of Life and The John Fante Reader have been included among the Los Angeles Times Best Books of the Year.
Sadly, it is one of the curses of their trade that great novelists often lead lives that resemble bad novels. Like a romance novel or a mystery, the literary pantheon is populated by stock characters, contrived and crassly predictable. The most familiar and glorified of the bunch are the Brilliant Recluses, followed shortly by the Drunks and the Academics, the Testoseronic and the Effeminate, the Rustics and the Socialites, and the newest members to the club, the Great Young Authors, the Prodigies. Most romantic of all, however, is the Great Forgotten Author.