Next Letter in the Mail: Tracy O’Neill


We’re getting ready to send our next Letter in the Mail, and it’s from Tracy O’Neill! Tracy writes to us about her early disinterest in math, and her newfound appreciation for its “elegance of movement” and the way “it acts as a shared language.”

Make sure Tracy’s thoughtful letter finds its way to your mailbox! Subscribe to Letters in the Mail before July 28! And remember, Letters in the Mail helps us keep The Rumpus running—so, you can correspond with your favorite writers and support the website in one fell swoop.

Tracy O’Neill is the author of The Hopeful, one of Electric Literature’s Best Novels of 2015, and Quotients, forthcoming from Soho Press. In 2015, she was named a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree, long-listed for the Flaherty-Dunnan Prize, and was a Narrative Under 30 finalist. In 2012, she was awarded the Center for Fiction’s Emerging Writers Fellowship. Her short fiction was distinguished in the Best American Short Stories 2016 and earned a Pushcart Prize nomination in 2017. Her writing has appeared in Granta, Rolling Stone, the Atlantic, the New Yorker, Lit Hub, BOMB, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The Literarian, New World Writing, Narrative, Scoundrel Time, GuernicaBookforumElectric Literature, Grantland, VICE, the GuardianVQR, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Catapult. She holds an MFA in fiction from the City College of New York, as well as an MA and MPhil in communications from Columbia University. While editor-in-chief of the literary journal Epiphany, she established the Breakout 8 Writers Prize with the Authors Guild. She has taught at a number of schools, including Gonzaga University, the City College of New York, Columbia University, the Hunter College MFA program, the Mountainview MFA program, and FIT.


Photograph of Tracy O’Neill by Oskar Miarka.