Called “Riveting” by Library Journal and “Superb historical fiction!” by the Historical Novels Review, Virginia Pye’s second novel, Dreams of the Red Phoenix, was published in 2015 by Unbridled Books. Author Gish Jen wrote, “Gripping, convincing, and heartbreaking, Dreams of the Red Phoenix is a real page-turner and thought-provoker—wonderful.” Kirkus said, “There’s a comparison to Ballard’s Empire of the Sun, but this unflinching look at a brutal era in a faraway place shares truth in its own way.” Vanity Fair’s Hot Type column mentioned that “Virginia Pye vividly imagines Dreams of the Red Phoenix,” while Book Riot said, “Pye is a remarkable writer, and it shows in this harrowing tale of loss and war.”
Virginia’s debut novel, River of Dust, was published in 2013, also by Unbridled Books. It was chosen as an Indie Next Pick and a 2014 Virginia Literary Awards Finalist. Annie Dillard called it “Terrific, tremendous, wonderful…a strong, beautiful, deep book.” Robert Olen Butler said, “This is a major work by a splendid writer.” And Carolyn See in The Washington Post called River of Dust, “Intricate and fascinating.”
Virginia has published award-winning short stories in literary magazines, including The North American Review, The Tampa Review, The Baltimore Review, and Failbetter. Her essays and interviews have appeared in The New York Times Opinionator, Literary Hub, The Rumpus, Huffington Post, Brain, Child and elsewhere.
She holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence where she studied with Allan Gurganus, Joan Silber, and Chuck Wachtel. At Wesleyan University she was a student of Annie Dillard and F.D. Reeve. Virginia has taught writing at New York University and the University of Pennsylvania. In Richmond, Virginia, where she lived for seventeen years, she helped run James River Writers, a literary non-profit. Since graduating from college, Virginia has lived in Cambridge, Hartford, New York, Philadelphia, Richmond, and now coming full circle, Cambridge again. She is married to John Ravenal, Director of deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Lincoln, Massachusetts, and is the mother of Eva and Daniel, and owner/acolyte of Lyla, the poodle.