Tom Bissell biography, plus links to book reviews and book excerpts from books by Tom Bissell.

Author Biography  |  Interview  |  Books by this Author  |  Readalikes

Tom Bissell

Tom Bissell

Tom Bissell Biography

Tom Bissell is the author of Chasing the Sea, God Lives in St. Petersburg, The Father of All Things and Why Video Games Matter. A recipient of the Rome Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Bay de Noc Community College Alumnus of the Year Award, he teaches fiction writing at Portland State University and lives in Portland, Oregon.

This biography was last updated on 07/06/2011.

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Interview

A Conversation with Tom Bissell


In 1996, Tom Bissell went to Uzbekistan as a naive Peace Corps volunteer. Though he lasted only a few months before illness and personal crisis forced him home, Bissell found himself entranced by this remote land. Five years later he returned to explore the shrinking Aral Sea, destroyed by Soviet irrigation policies. Joining up with an exuberant translator named Rustam, Bissell slipped more than once through the clutches of the Uzbek police as he makes his often wild way to the devastated sea.

In his memoir, Chasing the Sea (2003), Bissell combines the story of his travels with a beguiling chronicle of Uzbekistan's striking culture and long history of violent subjugation by despots from Jenghiz Khan to Joseph Stalin. Alternately amusing and sobering, this is a gripping portrait of a fascinating place, and the debut of a singularly gifted young writer.
In January 2005 he published a collection of short stories, God Lives In St Petersburg, about Americans colliding with remote and often perilous parts of Central Asia, such as Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan.

This interview was conducted shortly after the publication of Chasing The Sea, and before the publication of ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Tom Bissell at BookBrowse

Recommended in Detail at BookBrowse

The Father of All Things
The Father of All Things

by Tom Bissell

Opening with a gripping account of the chaotic and brutal last month of the war, The Father of All Things is Tom Bissell’s powerful reckoning with the Vietnam War and its impact on his father, his country, and Vietnam itself.
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Tom Bissell but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Rick Bass

    Rick Bass

    Rick Bass was born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1958. His father was a geologist who passed on his passion to his son.  Bass received a B.S. in petroleum geology at Utah State University in 1979, and then worked as a gas ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    God Lives In St. Petersburg

    Try:
    The Lives of Rocks
    by Rick Bass

  • Cheryl Benard

    Cheryl Benard

    Dr. Cheryl Benard has worked as an analyst for European and American think tanks. She is a researcher with the RAND Corporation. She received her B.A. in political science from the American University of Beirut and her PhD ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    God Lives In St. Petersburg

    Try:
    Veiled Courage
    by Cheryl Benard

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