Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Cris Mazza  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: 1957 in San Pedro, California

-- Website --
-- Cris Mazza on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Mazza lives in the west suburbs of Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Cris Mazza is currently professor and director of the Program for Writers at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Along with the books she has written, Mazza was co-editor for the original Chick-Lit anthologies: ''Chick-Lit: Postfeminist Fiction'', and ''Chick-Lit 2: No Chick Vics'' along with ''Men Undressed: Women Writers on the Male Sexual Experience''.A native of Southern California, Mazza grew up in San Diego County. Her BA and MA were completed at San Diego State University, then she crossed the country to finish an MFA in writing at Brooklyn College before returning to San Diego where she lived several years training and showing her dogs, completing her first 4 books, and teaching at various local colleges and universities, including UC San Diego, and was Writer in Residence at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN, then at Allegheny College in Meadville, PA.

Published Works

  • Animal Acts, Fiction Collective 2, 1988
  • How to Leave a Country, Coffee House Press, 1992
  • Revelation Countdown, Fiction Collective 2, 1993
  • Exposed, Coffee House Press, 1994
  • Your Name Here, Coffee House Press, 1995
  • Dog People, A Novel, Coffee House Press, 1997
  • Former Virgin, Short Fiction, Fiction Collective Two , 1997
  • Is It Sexual Harassment Yet, Northwestern University Press, 1998
  • Girl Beside Him, Fiction Collective Two, 2001
  • Indigenous, Growing Up Californian, City Lights Publishing, 2003
  • Homeland, Small Pr Distribution, 2004
  • Disability, Fiction Collective 2, 2005
  • Many Ways To Get It, Many Ways To Say It, Chiasmus Press, 2005
  • Waterbaby: A Novel, Soft Skull Press, 2007
  • Trickle-Down Timeline, Red Hen Press, 2009
  • Various Men Who Knew Us as Girls, Emergency Press, 2011
  • Something Wrong With Her, Jaded Ibis Press, 2013
  • Charlatan: New and Selected Stories, Curbside Splendor Publishing, 2017

Selected Titles At Your Library

Animal acts :
ISBN: 0932511163. OCLC Number:

Fiction Collective,. New York :. ©1988.

How to leave a country :
ISBN: 091827396X. OCLC Number:

Coffee House Press,. Minneapolis :. 1992.

Revelation Countdown.
ISBN: 0932511732. OCLC Number:

. .

Exposed /
ISBN: 1566890195. OCLC Number:

Coffee House Press ;. Minneapolis :. 1994.

Photographer Conni Zamora is hired to take publicity photos for a theatre in San Diego. As she goes about her assignment, differences emerge between her point of view as a photographer and that of the cast. A study in perception. By the author of How to Leave a Country.

Your name here :
ISBN: 1566890314. OCLC Number:

Coffee House Press ;. Minneapolis :. ©1995.

An affair with a married man enables a woman to finally come to terms with a rape she underwent 10 years earlier. Until then, Erin Haley had been unable to remember the incident, involving a colleague in a radio station where she worked as a journalist.

Dog people :
ISBN: 1566890551. OCLC Number:

Coffee House Press,. Minneapolis :. ©1997.

The romances of dog lovers. Fanny is an interior decorator, Scott is a caterer, and both are unhappily married. They meet in a park while exercising their dogs and have an affair. Subsequently, Fanny meets a lesbian who wants to breed a dog and another affair follows.

Former virgin :
ISBN: 1573660337. OCLC Number:

FC2,. Normal, IL :. 1997.

In her latest collection of stories, critically acclaimed writer Cris Mazza shines a kleig light on the dark underside of relationships in a disturbing look at the ambiguous nature of our own desires.

Is it sexual harassment yet? :
ISBN: 1573660418. OCLC Number:

Fiction Collective Two,. Normal, IL :. 1998.

Girl beside him /
ISBN: 1573660922. OCLC Number:

FC2,. Normal [Ill.] :. ©2001.

"Girl Beside Him is a novel about love, instinct, and the havoc kindled by nature gone awry. A wildlife biologist, observing a group of relocated cougars, attempts to repress the desires that he fears may make him a sex killer. In his struggle to understand himself, he finds an answer, but not without putting another at risk. A cougar escapes human confinement; a woman is freed of her dangerous obsession, and a man is freed of his deepest dread, though freedom comes with a price. Transgressive and addictive, Mazza once again probes the limits of human relationships, taking her readers into a region of dark sexuality, torn between love and destruction."--Jacket.

Indigenous :
ISBN: 0872864227. OCLC Number:

City Lights,. San Francisco :. ©2003.

Homeland :
ISBN: 1888996714. OCLC Number:

Red Hen Press,. Los Angeles :. ©2004.

Disability /
ISBN: 157366121X. OCLC Number:

FC2,. Tallahassee, FL :. ©2005.

Many ways to get it, many ways to say it :
ISBN: 0970321252. OCLC Number:

Chiasmus Press,. Portland :. 2005.

Waterbaby :
ISBN: 1933368845. OCLC Number:

Soft Skull Press ;. Brooklyn, NY :. 2007.

As children, Tam and her older brother were swimming when she suffered her first epileptic seizure. He pulled her from the water and was crowned a hero. Tam was labeled "disabled" and never swam again. And so began 30 years of vigilance, never allowing her body to betray her, never allowing her brother or her family or anyone else to influence her path. Now, in middle age, a lifetime's worth of control has taken its toll. Exhausted, she heads to Maine.

Trickle-down timeline /
ISBN: 1597091332. OCLC Number:

Red Hen Press,. Los Angeles, CA :. 2009.

Various men who knew us as girls /
ISBN: 0975362380. OCLC Number:

Emergency Press,. New York :. ©2011.

Something wrong with her :
ISBN: 1937543331. OCLC Number:

. .

Charlatan :
ISBN: 1945883065. OCLC Number:

. .

"Cris Mazza's work has often been regarded as "disturbing" for its exploration of sexual politics, victimhood, personal accountability, and acts of sexual violence. With an introduction by Gina Frangello and a foreword by Rick Moody, Charlatan charts the development of a dynamic body of fiction by a writer due for discovery by millennial readers unsatisfied by mainstream feminism."--provided by publisher.


How to Leave a Country

  • PEN/Nelson Algren Award for book-length fiction
  • Charlatan

  • Starred Review, Kirkus, 2017

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

    Contact Information

    Cris Mazza Dept. of English m/c 162 University of Illinois at Chicago 601 S. Morgan St. Chicago, Illinois 60607 413-312-2200


    Sheryl Johnston Email