A contemporary American author, he is known for nearly twenty novels and several short stories. His 2005 work, An Unfinished Season, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
He worked as a print journalist for the Waukegan News-Sun and was also a correspondent for Newsweek and The Washington Post.
Two of his short stories-- The Costa Brava and About Boston-- were nominated for the O. Henry Award.
He was born in Indiana. He later married Sarah Catchpole.
He cites Henry James as one of his literary influences.