April Wilder holds a BS in math from UCLA, an MFA in fiction from the University of Montana, and a PhD in literature and creative writing from the University of Utah. She is a former James C. McCreight Fiction Fellow from the Institute for Creative Writing in Madison, WI.
April currently teaching creative writing in the MFA program at San Diego State University. She n addition to working with writers one-on-one. She is currently completing her novel, I Think About You All The Time, Starting Tomorrow. She lives in San Diego with her daughter. According to T.S. Eliot she is the cruelest month, though she feels very mild.
Hay House Radio, on art: discipline, abandon, functionality. April 16, 2019, noon
This Is Not an Accident
“Dark and introspective, this collection of stories dwells on the perversity of failed relationships and the destructive nature of the human psyche... Wilder's voice is crisp and contemporary, burying meaning in the depth of her characters' thoughts and actions and leaving interpretation up to the reader… ”
O, the Oprah Magazine
“Off-kilter, wacky, disaster-prone: The characters in Wilder’s inventive stories are all these things, and they’re also unmistakably, disconcertingly familiar.”
“[Wilder's] gifts include a knack for sketching her characters' thoughts and the ease with which she draws readers into their stories. In "This Is Not an Accident, " black humor accompanies a woman's descent into obsessive-compulsive behavior. The most disturbing story is "Me Me Me"… in just 16 pages, Wilder captures the child's bizarre behavior, the hopeful mother's addictive personality, and glimpses of the none-too-emotionally stable narrator's backstory. In the anthology's symbolically rich novella, the death of a once-brilliant game theorist who ended up homeless and living on the streets sends his son into an emotional tailspin. Wilder draws on both humor and tragedy to deliver her insights about homelessness, loneliness, and death.”
“It's very lean, this striking collection of tales that remind one less of contemporaries like Monica Drake or Sam Lipsyte and more of the darker plays of Sam Shepard... the stories often pivot on the upending of cliches but also focus equally on the difficult equilibrium of relationships between all sorts of people… Excellent meditations on the human condition, well-suited to rest alongside the likes of Denis Johnson and Richard Ford.”
“At first, Wilder's stories seem to have a dystopian edge. The remedial driver's education that compels the first character to endless commuting, for example, hints at Orwellian doublespeak and Kafkaesque bureaucracy. Nevertheless, it quickly becomes clear This Is Not an Accident is far from futuristic. Wilder's characters are on the edge of everyday breakdowns, fighting the eternal absurdity of marriage, traffic and other familiar hells. Almost all of them are appealingly sympathetic, making Wilder's view of the world amused rather than bitter. These are odd stories that resist the urge to become fantastical, because Wilder understands that life is strange enough as it is.”
“The nine quirky stories in this collection by Wilder… detail absurd situations involving people either on the way to a breakdown or who have already reached their destination… Wilder's observations are startling and effective, her descriptions clever and distinctive, and her writing stunning, impossible to ignore or take lightly; imagine Andy Warhol's soup can meets Vincent van Gogh's starry night. VERDICT Edgy, bizarre, exaggerated… Not for readers seeking sweetness and light along the lines of a Hallmark card-type read.”
“The beauty of this collection of short stories is the window it provides into the writer’s preoccupations and the opportunity it offers readers to sample tantalizing glimpses of promise… her assortment of quirky and gritty characters suggest she is a skilled and inveterate people-watcher who is also mining a deep vein of personal experience… Wilder is by turns witty, poignant and insightful. She does not shy away from complex issues… She can also deliver a gut-wrenching clincher, as she does in You’re That Guy. The most substantial of the pieces in This is Not an Accident, the novella explores the emotional wreckage a homeless math professor leaves in the wake of his death... Wilder is occasionally reminiscent of Pam Houston… This is Not an Accident is worth reading and Wilder is a talent to watch. I will look for her pending first novel, I Think About You All the Time, Starting Tomorrow.”
The 34th Annual Northern California Book Awards program
"A typical Wilder character is someone—male or female, young or old—who has either become unhinged due to a traumatic event or is simply the kind of person likely to take drastic action at the drop of a hat…. The brilliant, formally inventive ‘We Were Champions’ challenges us to examine conventional categories of victim and perpetrator… Witty dialogue characterizes the eight stories and novella in this debut collection. And then there’s Wilder’s inimitable voice. She dispenses with explanations; as the narrator zips us forward and backward in time, one antic event follows another with dizzying speed. Ideas and insights pulse just below the surface, but at the core of these stories is abiding grief... [that] invites us to contemplate negative space and ponder the nature of personal identity.”