Fiction. The tales of Bluestein's book unfold as the small fictional South Asian country of Ayama Na recovers from war and prepares for its inevitable Westernization. "In the tradition of Robert Olen Butler and Bob Shacochis," writes Marly Swick, O. Henry Award winner who selected this book for the G. S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction, "Bluestein is a writer who illuminates our cultural differences, while exploring the intricacies of the human condition." Publishers Weekly writes, "Bluestein brings a versatile, captivating voice to her debut story collection set in the fictional Asian country of Ayama Na." Booklist calls Bluestein "a writer to watch." Bluestein's Ayama Na may be a fictional place, but the characters, their struggles, their cruelty and their hearts are authentic.
Eleanor Bluestein grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts, and attended Tufts University. After graduating with a degree in biology, Eleanor taught science in public school, first in New York and then in Maryland. Following a move to California, she worked as an editor of science textbooks for Harcourt, then for Curriculum Concepts, and later designed multimedia educational materials for Compass Learning. She has a Masters of Education degree from San Diego State University. Through the work of such writers as Cynthia Ozick, Philip Roth, Kurt Vonnegut, James Baldwin, Margaret Drabble, and the incomparable Jane Austen, she acquired an ardor for words, and she began writing fiction. For a decade, along with an early literary mentor, Mel Freilicher, Eleanor co-edited Crawl Out Your Window, a San Diego based journal featuring the work of local writers and artists. Eleanor spent a year in Paris, France, writing fiction and studying French at the Alliance Fran‡aise. Later, she completed a Professional Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language at U.C. San Diego. These experiences found their way into the novel Syntax, a current project. Eleanor lives with her husband, a professor of medicine, in La Jolla, California. From that base, she writes fiction, sometimes travels to exotic lands, and volunteers as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for foster children. She has a son and a daughter. Author City: LA JOLLA, CA USA