Alexander Chee is the bestselling author of the novels Edinburgh and The Queen of the Night and an associate professor of creative writing at Dartmouth College.

He is a prolific essayist and critic—an editor at large for VQR, a critic at large for the Los Angeles Times, and a contributing editor at The New Republic. The title for his newest book, How to Write an Autobiographical Novel, his first collection of essays, comes from finding himself in front of audiences for The Queen of the Night—a historical novel set during Second Empire France and the Franco-Prussian War—and being asked, “How autobiographical is this?” As he assembled his collection, he reflected on what he’d felt he could and couldn’t put in his fiction, and why, resulting in a meditation on the possibilities of fiction and the essay, and the ways we construct our identities as readers and writers.