Tobias Wolff is a novelist, short story writer, and memoirist and the recipient of the 1985 for The Barracks Thief, the 1989 Whiting Award for Fiction and Nonfiction, the 2006 PEN/Malamud Award (co-winner), the 2008 The Story Prize for his collection of short stories, Our Story Begins, the 2014 Stone Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement, Oregon State University, the 2015 National Medal of Arts (presented by President Obama), US National Endowment for the Arts, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize , and the Rea Award for excellence in the short story.
Wolff is the author of the novels The Barracks Thief and Old School, the memoirs This Boy’s Life and In Pharaoh’s Army, and the short story collections In the Garden of the North American Martyrs, Back in the World, The Night in Question, and Our Story Begins. He has also been the editor of Best American Short Stories, The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories, and A Doctor’s Visit: The Short Stories of Anton Chekhov. His work appears regularly in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper’s, and other magazines and literary journals.
Wolff’s work has found a wider audience through its adaptation to film. This Boy’s Life became a feature film directed by Michael Caton-Jones which starred Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, and Ellen Barkin. In 2001, Wolff’s acclaimed short story “Bullet in the Brain” was adapted into a short film by David Von Ancken and C.J. Follini starring Tom Noonan and Dean Winters.
Wolff is the Ward W. and Priscilla B. Woods Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford, where he has taught classes in English and creative writing since 1997. He also served as the director of the Creative Writing Program at Stanford from 2000 to 2002.
Prior to his current appointment at Stanford, Wolff taught at Syracuse University from 1980 to 1997. While at Syracuse he served on the faculty with Raymond Carver and was an instructor in the graduate writing program. Authors who worked with Wolff while they were students at Syracuse include Jay McInerney, Tom Perrotta, George Saunders, Alice Sebold, William Tester, Paul Griner, Ken Garcia, Dana C. Kabel, Jan–Marie Spanard, and Paul Watkins.
Tobias Wolff is married with three children and lives in California.