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Kristen Arnett is a queer fiction author and essayist. Her debut novel, Mostly Dead Things, was a New York Times bestseller[1].

Kristen Arnett
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BornOrlando, Florida
  • Fiction author
  • Essayist
CitizenshipUnited States of America
  • Bachelor's degree in English
  • Master's degree in library and information science
Alma mater
  • Rollins College
  • Florida State University
Notable awardsCoil Book Award (2017)


Early life and education

Arnett grew up in Orlando, Florida, where she attended Winter Park High School[2]. She graduated from Rollins College with a bachelor's degree in English and received her master's degree in library and information science from Florida State University. Arnett was a fellow in the Lambda Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBT Voices in 2013[3].


Arnett was librarian at Rollins College and the Barry University School of Law[4]. She is a columnist for Literary Hub[5] and was selected as a Shearing Fellow at the Black Mountain Institute for the Spring 2020 semester [6].


Arnett's stories have appeared in online and print publications including Guernica magazine[7], The North American Review[8], Oprah Magazine, and Gay Magazine[9]. Her first collection of short fiction Felt in the Jaw was published by Split Lip Press and received the 2017 Coil Book Award[10]. Arnett's debut novel, Mostly Dead Things, which was published by Tin House in June 2019, was a New York Times bestseller and heralded by literary critic Parul Segal as her "song of the summer"[11]. Arnett's forthcoming novel and a collection of short stories will be published by Riverhead Books[12].


Arnett's essays have been published in various venues including The Rumpus[13], Electric Literature[14], and Orlando Weekly[15].

In the media



  1. "About - kristen arnett". Retrieved 2020-05-09.
  2. "Kristen Arnett on How She Got Her Start as a Librarian". Literary Hub. 2019-06-21. Retrieved 2020-05-09.
  3. "Lambda's Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBT Voices: The 2013 Fellows Reflect | Lambda Literary". Retrieved 2020-05-09.
  4. Rosen, Louis (2016-06-02). "Welcome, Kristen Arnett!". Barry Law Library. Retrieved 2020-05-09.
  5. "kristen arnett | Literary Hub". Retrieved 2020-05-09.
  6. "Kristen Arnett". Black Mountain Institute. Retrieved 2020-05-09.
  7. Arnett, Kristen N. (2018-07-30). "The Graveyard Game". Guernica. Retrieved 2020-05-09.
  8. "Vol. 301, No. 1, WINTER 2016 of The North American Review on JSTOR". Retrieved 2020-05-09.
  9. Arnett, Kristen (2019-07-02). "Divide and Conquer". Medium. Retrieved 2020-05-09.
  10. Press, Alternating Current (2017-12-09). "2017 Coil Book Award: Kristen N. Arnett's 'Felt in the Jaw'". Medium. Retrieved 2020-05-09.
  11. Sehgal, Parul (2019-05-28). "'Mostly Dead Things,' a Story of Taxidermy, Love and Grief, With Echoes of Past Literary Heroines". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-05-09.
  12. "Book Deals: Week of October 7, 2019". Retrieved 2020-05-09.
  13. "Hand-Operated Shearing Instruments". The 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2020-05-09.
  14. "The Queer Erotics of Handholding in Literature". Electric Literature. 2017-04-25. Retrieved 2020-05-09.
  15. Arnett, Kristen. "Oh thank heaven, today is 7-Eleven Day". Orlando Weekly. Retrieved 2020-05-09.

External Links