Despite a vague childhood ambition to become a writer, it was only when Cliff joined the Peace Corps after college at Northwestern University that his life found direction. Following his service as a teacher in South Korea and a backpacking trip through Southeast Asia, he earned an M.A. in English and then enrolled in law school at Indiana University before pursuing an international law career, first with a private law firm—including a long stint in Singapore—and later with the World Bank.
His interest in writing never left him, however, and he devoted himself to learning the craft by taking classes locally and then by getting an M.F.A in fiction. He began publishing short stories in literary magazines, and his first story collection, In an Uncharted Country, appeared in 2009, garnering both an IPPY Gold Medal and the Maria Thomas Fiction Award. His second book, What the Zhang Boys Know, a novel in stories set in a condominium building in Washington, DC, came out three years later and won the Library of Virginia Literary Award for Fiction. In 2015 he won the Indiana Emerging Authors Award from the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Foundation and the Indiana Public Library Foundation.
An accomplished editor, Cliff is the co-founder and former editor of Prime Number Magazine, and has edited all three volumes of the Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet anthology series, showcasing short stories set all over the world (58 countries so far).
Although he still likes to travel internationally, and his travels resonate deeply in his fiction, he is happily settled in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
Regal House Publishing is proud to be publishing Cliff’s fictional work, Oliver’s Travels, in 2020.