The fiction of Thaisa Frank
works by a tantalizing sense
– New York Times
Frank continually startles us.
She alerts us to the fact that we are
always on the edge,
never knowing who we are,
why we live, why we exist....
– Irving Malin
The fiction of Enchantment is Thaisa Frank’s third collection of short fiction and includes two semi-autobiographical novellas as well as thirty-three stories. Her most recent novel, Heidegger’s Glasses, takes place in the mythical haven of an underground mine during WWII, the safety of which is threatened forever. It was published in 2010, reissued in paperback in 2011 and sold to ten foreign countries before publication. She is also the author of Sleeping in Velvet and A Brief History of Camouflage, both on the Bestseller List of the San Francisco Chronicle. Thaisa has received two PEN awards and her stories have been widely-anthologized—the most recent of which are in A Dictionary of Dirty Words, Harper/Collins Reader’s Choice and Rozne Ksztatly Milocsi. She has published critical essays on writing and art and is the author of the Afterward to Viking/Penguin’s most recent edition of Voltaire. Her poetry, which she writes secretly, appears in small publications.
Thaisa has also co-authored Finding Your Writers Voice: A Guide to Creative Fiction, translated into Portuguese and Spanish, and used in numerous writing programs. Thaisa has taught writing in the graduate departments of San Francisco State, the University of San Francisco and the University of California as Visiting Associate Professor of Creative Writing.
She grew up in the Midwest and the Bronx, the granddaughter of a Presbyterian theologian and a Rumanian Chassid, who consulted each other about Aramaic texts. Her fiction, sometimes characterized as “domestic magical realism,” draws on a bi-cultural childhood, in which she lived in a sedate suburb of Illinois for two-thirds of the year and the colorful, immigrant world of New York for the remaining third. In her stories a child has too many mothers to remember, a woman orders an enchanted man from a mail-order catalogue, a circus performer has feet that can see, and a lonely vampire adjusts to life the heartlands. Her novellas are about the journey of a daughter and her parents.
Thaisa wrote her first story when she was eight—an “unremarkable story, except it made me feel connected to a vast world, far beyond my family.” She majored in philosophy of science and perfected her writing privately, turning down fellowships and working as a copy-editor, ghost-writer, and psychotherapist. One interviewer has claimed she once gave psychic readings, but this was only a rumor, started by one of her characters.