July 24, 2015

NPR book reviewer Alan Cheuse still in the hospital after a car accident


Alan Cheuse via NPR

Alan Cheuse via NPR

Alan Cheuse, professor at George Mason University, author, and book reviewer at NPR, was in a serious car accident. The accident, which occured as he was driving from the Squaw Valley Writers Conference, left Cheuse in a coma. According to a post from his family on Caring Bridge, Cheuse “landed in the hospital with broken ribs and a broken vertebrate in his neck. While at the hospital, last Friday afternoon he suffered bleeding in his brain, an acute subdural hematoma. He had emergency brain surgery on Friday and is now in an intense and critical recovery period. This will likely be a long period of time.”

Updates from the family show that there has been some improvement, and the family is optimistic. A post on Tuesday read, “His eye movement has improved slightly and he’s tracking light a little bit more. All of these things continue to sustain our hope that he will open his eyes soon and tell us he’s ready to get back to writing the novel he’s working on.”

Amy Tan posted on Facebook:

Prayers for the Living is the latest novel of NPR book commentator Alan Cheuse. And right now Alan needs many of your prayers….As a regular NPR book review commentator on “All Things Considered,” Alan has been instrumental in letting millions know of the new fiction books that are released each year, including those books by less-well known authors, whose fiction might otherwise have gone unheralded. He is a much-loved professor at George Mason University, a novelist, short story writer, memoirist, and an editor of a book on writing, as well as a workshop leader and board member of the Community of Writers. We know there are many friends, colleagues, fans, and NPR listeners who want to join in sending healing thoughts, prayers, and love.

The family has set up the Caring Bridge page to keep friends updated on Cheuse’s progress, and encourage everyone to “send him notes to help speed his recovery.”  Cheuse’s students at GMU have also launched the Alan Cheuse Literary Review, and encourage all writers to “submit a story/poem/essay/letter/photo/artwork, anything you’d like to share with Alan and cheer him on!”


Julia Fleischaker is a former director of marketing and publicity at Melville House.