Professor Dean is the author of two books. The first, a novel, (The Time It Takes to Fall, Simon & Schuster, 2007) is set near Cape Canaveral and follows a fictional NASA family through the aftermath of the Challenger disaster. The second, a book-length work of creative nonfiction, documents the final year of the space shuttle program (Leaving Orbit: Notes from the Last Days of American Spaceflight, Graywolf Press, 2015). Her research interests include contemporary fiction, contemporary creative nonfiction, creative writing pedagogy, gender studies, literature of disaster, and literature of spaceflight.
Professor Dean teaches fiction writing and creative nonfiction writing at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Recent courses include Writing Fiction (364), Advanced Fiction Writing (464), Writing Creative Nonfiction (366), Fiction Writing (580), and a special topics course on Literature of Disaster (UHC 257). She is a recipient of the John C. Hodges Assistant Professor Teaching Award.
B.A. Wellesley College
M.F.A. University of Michigan
- Leaving Orbit: Notes from the Last Days of American Spaceflight. Graywolf Press, 2015.
- The Time It Takes to Fall. Simon & Schuster, 2007.
- “A Brief History of Spacefarers.” Paris Review blog, www.theparisreview.org, May 19, 2015.
- “John Ray, Jr., PhD.” StoryQuarterly 46/47, February 2014.
- “Warriors and Worriers: Risk, Masculinity, and the Anxiety of Individuality in the Literature of American Spaceflight” in Spacefarers, ed. Michael Neufeld. Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, July 2013.
- “Tough but Fair: Honesty and the Management of Emotion in the Creative Writing Workshop” in Beyond the Workshop, ed. Paul Perry. Kingston University Press, March 2012.
- “Godspeed Atlantis: Witnessing the End of the Space Shuttle Era.” Knoxville News Sentinel, July 16, 2011.
- “The Long Hard Slog: ‘From MFA Thesis to First Novel,’” Fiction Writers Review. (May 3, 2010).
- “The Imaginary Athlete,” Michigan Quarterly Review (Winter 2007, vol. XLVI).
- “Lives of the Great Baristas,” Five Chapters (Summer 2007).
Awards, Honors & Grants
- Angie Warren Perkins Award, University of Tennessee, 2014
- Outstanding Mentorship Inside the Classroom Faculty Award, Department of English, University of Tennessee, 2014
- Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize, 2013
- Tennessee Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship, 2012-13
- College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Advising Service Award, University of Tennessee, 2013
- Hodges Assistant Professor Teaching Award, 2012
- National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, 2008
- Hopwood Award for the Novel, 2001