I’m the Paterno Family Professor in Literature at Penn State University. Born in New York City (specifically, on 2nd St and Avenue C) in September 1961, I grew up mainly in Flushing, Queens, where I lived until moving to some of the least attractive apartments in the Columbia neighborhood in 1978. I received my B.A. in English from Columbia in 1982 and my M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 1986 and 1989, respectively. In 1983, a few weeks after moving to Charlottesville, Virginia, I met Janet Lyon; we married in 1985, had our first child, Nick, in 1986, got jobs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1989, had our second child, Jamie, in 1991, and then moved to Penn State in July 2001.