A prolific American novelist and short story writer, he is best known for his PEN/Faulkner Award-winning novel, World's End. Much of his writing explores the experiences and characteristics of members of the baby boom generation.
He received a B.A. in English and history from the State University of New York at Potsdam; an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers' Workshop; and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa.
His short story collections include Greasy Lake, Without a Hero, and Descent of Man.
He settled in Santa Barbara, California with his wife and three children.
He and Julie Orringer both studied at the famed Iowa Writers' Workshop.