Alan Cheuse has been reviewing books on All Things Considered since the 1980s.
Formally trained as a literary scholar, Cheuse also writes fiction and novels and publishes short stories. He is the author of four novels, two collections of short fiction, and the memoir Fall out of Heaven. His most recent novel, To Catch the Lightning, is an exploration of the intertwined plights of real-life frontier photographer Edward Curtis and the American Indian. With Caroline Marshall, he has edited two volumes of short stories. Cheuse's short fiction has appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, The Antioch Review, Ploughshares, and Another Chicago Magazine. His most recent collection of his short fiction was published in September 1998 and his essay collection, Listening to the Page, appeared in 2001.
Cheuse splits his time between the two coasts, spending nine months of the year in Washington, D.C., where he teaches writing at George Mason University. His summers are spent in Santa Cruz, Calif., teaching writing at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Cheuse earned his Ph.D. in comparative literature with a focus on Latin American literature from Rutgers University in 1974.
"The greatest challenge of this work [at NPR]," he says, "is to make each two-minute review as fresh and interesting as you can while trying to focus on the essence of the book itself."