Keija Parssinen

Keija Parssinen
Assistant Professor of Creative Writing-Fiction
College of Arts & Sciences
English Language and Literature
Website Zink Hall


MFA – University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop BA – Princeton University


Keija Parssinen is the author of two novels, The Unraveling of Mercy Louis, which won an Alex Award from the American Library Association, and The Ruins of Us, which earned a Michener-Copernicus Award and was long-listed for the Chautauqua Prize. At the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she earned her MFA in fiction, she was a Truman Capote Fellow, a Teaching-Writing Fellow, and edited the Iowa Short Fiction Contest. She writes novels, short fiction, poetry, and essays, and her writing has appeared in This Land, The Brooklyn Quarterly, Salon, The New Delta Review, Marie Claire, the Lonely Planet travel writing anthologies, and elsewhere.

Research Interests

Novel writing, short fiction, poetry

Teaching Interests

Creative Writing, Contemporary Fiction, Women’s and Gender Studies



  • Parssinen, Keija. The Unraveling of Mercy Louis. Harper Books, 2015. Print.

  • Parssinen, Keija. The Ruins of Us. Harper Perennial, 2012. Print.

Magazine/Trade Publications

  • Parssinen, Keija. “The Gates of Tunis.” 2016: n. pag. Print.

  • Parssinen, Keija. “Snow Miser & Heat Miser.” Heat Miser and Snow Miser fiction: Salon’s two-sentence holiday stories, starring the brilliant Xmas special duo 2014: n. pag. Print.

  • Parssinen, Keija. “The Caulbearer.” 2014: n. pag. Print.

  • Parssinen, Keija. “These Things Other Than Beautiful.” 2012: n. pag. Print.

Courses Taught

  • Senior Project
  • Special Topics: Literature and Language II
  • Writing Fiction
  • Directed M.A. Research; Directed Writing
  • Independent Study

Awards & Honors

  • Truman Capote Fellowship
  • Alex Award
  • My Time Fellowship
  • Michener Copernicus Award