By thirty, Danielle Evans had already accomplished enough for a lifetime. A graduate of Columbia University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she received the 2011 National Book Foundation's "5 under 35" Award and a PEN Prize for Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self. In her work and speaking engagements, she explores racial identity in a post-Civil Rights America. She is an acclaimed writer and an award-winning author. A graduate of Columbia University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, her stories have appeared in The Paris ReviewA Public Space, and The Best American Short Stories anthologies. Her debut book, Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, is met with critical acclamations, winning the 2011 PEN American Robert W. Bingham Prize for first book, the Patterson Prize for fiction, and the Hurston-Wright award for fiction. An honorable mention for the PEN/Hemingway award, Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, is a collection of short stories about mixed-race and African American teenagers, women, and men and their struggle to belong. In her book, The Office of Historical Corrections, Evans continues to the discussion on the subject of race in American history. In this collection of short stories, Evans provokes us to think about the truths of American history–about who gets to tell them, and the cost of setting the record straight.

Majoring in anthropology and African American studies, Evans transitions these passions into her contemporary fiction in a post-Civil Rights America. A relevant and engaging speaker, Evans opens discussions with academic and library audiences about the children of the Civil Rights Movement and their struggles to find a place within their families and communities, especially when their loyalties to place, to family, and to self are often divided. She also speaks on the continuum of American history intersecting with race, gender, and class, and how often history is reshaped for the sake of comfort over truth.

Evans was the 2020 National Endowment for Arts fellow. She currently lives in Baltimore and teaches the John Hopkins University’s creative program, The Writing Seminars.