Agent: Esmond Harmsworth
Jedediah Berry was raised in the Hudson Valley region of New York State. His first novel, The Manual of Detection, won the IAFA Crawford Award and the Dashiell Hammett Prize, and was adapted for broadcast by BBC Radio. The book was named a New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award finalist and a Locus Award finalist. It has been widely translated.
His short fiction appears online at Tor.com and Interfictions; in the journals Conjunctions, Unstuck, Massachusetts Review, Chicago Review, and Fairy Tale Review, among others; and in anthologies including Best American Fantasy, Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, Best Bizarro Fiction of the Decade, Salon Fantastique, and Cape Cod Noir.
He has taught creative writing at Bard College and at the University of Massachusetts Amherst MFA Program for Poets & Writers, and has served on the editorial staff of PEN America, jubilat, and Small Beer Press. He is an associate editor of Conjunctions, and a recipient of residency fellowships from Yaddo and the James Merrill House. He lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, and teaches at the Solstice MFA Program at Pine Manor College.
What others are saying
"Surreal, absurd, and cerebral, full of sly humor and winks, this novel is meticulously written and plotted. Fans of George Orwell, Ray Bradbury, and Jasper Fforde, take notice."
— The Boston Globe
The Manual of Detection
By Jedediah Berry | Penguin Press, 2009
Winner: Crawford Fantasy Award; Dashiell Hammett Prize
In this tightly plotted yet mind-expanding debut novel, an unlikely detective, armed with only an umbrella and a singular handbook, must untangle a string of crimes committed in and through people's dreams. In an unnamed city always slick with rain, Charles Unwin is a humble file clerk working for a huge and imperious detective agency, and all he knows about solving mysteries comes from filing reports for the illustrious investigator Travis Sivart. When Sivart goes missing, and his supervisor turns up murdered, Unwin is suddenly promoted to detective, a rank for which he lacks both the skills and the stomach. His only guidance comes from his new assistant, who would be perfect if she weren't so sleepy, and from the pithy yet profound Manual of Detection. The Manual of Detection defies comparison; it is a brilliantly conceived, meticulously realized novel that will change what you think about how you think.