Vanessa earned her MFA in Creative Writing from HunterCollege where she received a Hertog Fellowship. An excerpt of her first novel, The Un-American, was published in Granta (118, Exit Strategies). Prior to writing, Vanessa trained in ballet at the North CarolinaSchool of the Arts and danced with the Charleston Ballet Theatre. She then returned to school to earn a B.A. in English from the University of Connecticut and an M.A. from New YorkUniversity’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study where she focused on dance studies and cultural history. In addition to writing fiction, Vanessa writes about dance. She is the former Dance Editor of The Brooklyn Rail, and has written articles for Dance Magazine, Dance Teacher and The Aesthete. Originally from Brookfield, CT, Vanessa now lives in Brooklyn, NY.
The Un-American will be published in Spring 2014 by Penguin Press (US):
‘Beautifully written and deeply affecting… the story of a man stranded by history in a strange land, torn away by politics and paranoia from the people he loves. Manko ranges expertly between Russia, the USA and Mexico to weave her absorbing tale of emigration, deportation, desperation, paranoia, and finally, improbably, love. The novel reminds one, at times, of Kafka, Ondaatje, and even, in its powerful evocation of marooned isolation, Robinson Crusoe. A brilliant debut.’ - Salman Rushdie