Heather Abel’s debut novel, The Optimistic Decade, is forthcoming from Algonquin Books in May, 2018. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Slate, the Los Angeles Times, and the Paris Review, among other places. She worked as a reporter and editor for the San Francisco Bay Guardian and High Country News, during which time she talked to gold miners, fossil hounds, Native American environmental activists, and really bored teens in rural Utah. She received an MFA in fiction writing from the New School University, and she’s taught writing at the New School, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Smith College. Raised in Santa Monica, she now lives in Northampton, Massachusetts with her husband and two daughters, and she dreams of the Colorado high desert.