John Dalton biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

John Dalton
Rebecca E. B. Daugherty

John Dalton

John Dalton Biography

John Dalton is the author of the novel, Heaven Lake, which won the Barnes and Noble 2004 Discover Award in fiction. It was also awarded the Sue Kaufman Prize for best first fiction of 2004 from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His second novel The Inverted Forest was published in 2010.

Dalton grew up near St. Louis, Missouri, as the youngest of seven children. He lived in Taiwan (the setting for his first novel) during the late 1980s and travelled extensively in mainland China and Asia. He attended the Iowa Writers' Workshop in the 1990s but has now returned to St. Louis where he lives with his wife and two daughters. He is director of the MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Missouri - St. Louis.

John Dalton's website

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Interview

John Dalton explains how his first novel is based on an actual proposition he received in Taiwan - to travel to mainland China, marry a woman under false pretenses and bring her to Taiwan.

Q: Is it true that part of your novel is based on an actual proposition you received in Taiwan?

A: It is, yes. This happened only a few months after I'd arrived in Taiwan in 1989. I'd moved to Toulio on a whim to teach English in a language school. At night, after classes, I'd go and have dinner with several other foreign teachers along a lane of food stalls. We were great rarities in town, often stared at, frequently approached. Several nights in a row a local gentleman, an overly-cheery businessman with a fitful manner, came to our table. He was an enthusiastic beer drinker. One evening, after many rounds of beer, he told his story. He'd recently been to the mainland to seek out business opportunities and, purely by chance, had met and fallen in love with a woman whom he described as the most beautiful woman in China. He wanted to marry her. She and her family welcomed the prospect. Politically, however, such a union would either be impossible or result in long bureaucratic delays. And so he made a standing offer of ten thousand U.S. dollars to our table of foreign teachers for anyone willing to travel to the mainland, marry the woman under false pretenses and bring her to Taiwan. Was he serious? ...

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Books by this Author

Books by John Dalton at BookBrowse
Heaven Lake jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for John Dalton 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

  • Mischa Berlinski

    Mischa Berlinski

    Fieldwork is Mischa's first novel, it won him a $50,000 Whiting Award in 2008. Peacekeeping: A Novel was published in 2016.

    Mischa Berlinski was born in New York in 1973. He studied classics at the University of California... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Heaven Lake

    Try:
    Fieldwork
    by Mischa Berlinski

  • Tom Bissell

    Tom Bissell

    Tom Bissell is the author of Chasing the Sea, God Lives in St. Petersburg, The Father of All Things, Why Video Games Matter, Magic Hours: Essays On Creators and Creation (2012) and Apostle: Travels Among the Tombs of the ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Heaven Lake

    Try:
    God Lives In St. Petersburg
    by Tom Bissell

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