Search - List of Books by Thom Jones
Thom Jones (born January 26, 1945) is an American writer, primarily of short stories.
Total Books: 20
Jones was raised in Aurora, Illinois, and attended the University of Hawaii, where he played catcher on the baseball team. He later attended the University of Washington, from which he graduated in 1970, and the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa, from which he received an M.F.A. in 1973. Also in 1973, he published a short story, "Brother Dodo's Revenge", in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, an animal-fantasy allegory in the dystopian George Orwell mode.
Jones trained in Force Reconnaissance in the Marine Corps but was discharged before his unit was sent to Vietnam. His experiences, including the suicide of his boxer father in a mental institution, were important sources of material for his fiction-writing. After graduation from college, he worked as a copywriter for a Chicago advertising agency and later as a janitor, all the while reading and writing for hours each day; he was "discovered", well into his 40s, by the fiction editors of The New Yorker, who published a series of Jones's stories in the early 1990s. One of these, "The Pugilist at Rest", won an O. Henry Award. John Updike in a Salon.com interview praised him as one of two writers of a younger generation he admired, and Updike included Jones's story, "I Want To Live!", in the anthology The Best American Short Stories of the Century.
His first book, published in 1993, was the short story collection, also called The Pugilist at Rest. The stories deal with common themes of mortality and pain, with characters that often find a kind of solace in the rather pessimistic philosophy of Schopenhauer. Boxing, absent or mentally ill fathers, physical trauma and the Vietnam War are also recurring motifs. The collection was a National Book Award finalist.
His other books include Cold Snap (1995) and Sonny Liston Was a Friend of Mine (1999), both collections of short stories. His story "Night Train" was included in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2004. Recently he has written scripts for feature films, including a Vietnam screenplay for Cheyenne Enterprises, actor Bruce Willis's production company, and an adaptation of deceased Mississippi author Larry Brown's novel, The Rabbit Factory, for Ithaka Films, a production company affiliated with the mini-major studio Lions Gate. At least insofar as measured by publications, he has been less active as a writer in recent years, compared to his 1990s pace. He currently resides in Olympia, Washington and has temporal lobe epilepsy and suffers from diabetes (as do many of the characters populating his stories).