Mary Helen Stefaniak, Fiction/Nonfiction

Mary Helen Stefaniak’s second novel, The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia (W. W. Norton, 2010) received a 2011 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Fiction. Anisfield-Wolf Awards recognize books that make important contributions to our understanding of racism and our appreciation of the rich diversity of human cultures. 

The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia was also selected by independent booksellers as an Indie-Next “Great Read.” Her first novel, The Turk and My Mother (W. W. Norton), received the 2005 John Gardner Fiction Award and has been translated into several languages. It was named a Favorite Book of 2004 by The Chicago Tribune.

Her first book, Self Storage and Other Stories (New Rivers Press), received the Wisconsin Library Association’s 1998 Banta Award, and a novella was shortlisted for the O. Henry Prize. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in many publications, including Antioch Review, AGNI, Epoch, The Iowa Review, New Stories from the South (Algonquin), and A Different Plain (University of Nebraska). An occasional Iowa Public Radio commentator, Mary Helen divides her time between Iowa City, where she and her husband John live in a 150-year-old stagecoach inn they restored, and Omaha, where she teaches at Creighton University. She currently serves as contributing editor for the international journal Cerise Press.


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