Emily Barton


  • Associate Professor of Creative Writing

Areas of Study


  • MFA, Iowa Writers’ Workshop, 1995
  • AB, summa cum laude, Harvard & Radcliffe Colleges, 1991


Emily Barton is the author of three novels: The Book of Esther, Brookland, and The Testament of Yves Gundron. Her fiction, criticism, and essays have appeared in many publications, including Story magazine, American Short Fiction, Conjunctions, the Massachusetts Review, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times Book Review, the Jewish Daily Forward’s Sisterhood blog, the New York Observer, Poetry magazine, Tablet.com, Kveller.com, and the Threepenny Review

Her work has been recognized with grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Corporation of Yaddo, and the Sustainable Arts Foundation. Barton also has won the Bard Fiction Prize.

Before coming to Oberlin, Barton taught at New York University, Yale University, Columbia University, Smith College, Bard College, and Princeton University.

Fall 2024

Topics & Forms: The OULIPO & Constraint — CRWR 291
Special Topics in Fiction: The Sentence — CRWR 321
Practicum — CRWR 485


Emily Barton Review Published in the "Times Literary Supplement"

May 8, 2024

Associate Professor of Creative Writing Emily Barton reviews Lina Wolff's new novel, The Devil's Grip, for the Times Literary Supplement (London).

Emily Barton Review Published in "The New York Times Book Review"

January 10, 2024

Associate Professor of Creative Writing Emily Barton publishes her review of Maria Hummel’s new novel, Goldenseal, in The New York Times Book Review.

Emily Barton Book Review Published in "Times of London"

January 18, 2023

Emily Barton reviews Vigdis Hjorth's new novel, "Is Mother Dead," for the Times of London.

Emily Barton and Oberlin College Students Visit Westlake School

December 1, 2022

Professor Emily Barton, along with seniors Dora Neiden and Helenor Harris-Evans, visited the Westlake fourth-grade classroom of Ms. Erin Vanek to observe and respond to student presentations on which element of storytelling is most important. Each student had chosen an element of craft (such as character, plot, or point of view) and prepared a PowerPoint presentation to argue their point, using specific examples from source texts. Professor Barton, Neiden, and Harris-Evans were amazed at the nuance of the students' arguments and their passion in arguing them.

Emily Barton Publishes Review in "Times Literary Supplement"

June 21, 2022

Associate Professor of Creative Writing Emily Barton publishes a review of two of Mieko Kawakami's novels in the Times Literary Supplement.

Emily Barton contributes to NJ Monthly article

October 15, 2021

Associate Professor of Creative Writing Emily Barton contributes to a NJ Monthly article on author G. Willow Wilson.

Emily Barton Contributes to Article

May 21, 2020

Assistant Professor of Creative Writing Emily Barton contributed to a Yahoo News article on the future of college education.

Emily Barton Reviews Novel

February 20, 2020

Assistant Professor of Creative Writing Emily Barton reviewed Kiran Millwood Hargrave's novel "The Mercies" for the New York Times.

Emily Barton Publishes Short Story

September 4, 2019

Assistant Professor of Creative Writing Emily Barton has a new short story, "Better," in Guernica.

Emily Barton Publishes Review

April 23, 2019

Assistant Professor of Creative Writing Emily Barton published a review of G. Willow Wilson's new novel, "The Bird King," in the New York Times book review.

Emily Barton Reviews Book

December 11, 2018

Emily Barton, assistant professor of creative writing, reviewed Kenji Miyazawa's dark fairy tales in the New York Times.


This Week in Photos: Tiny, but Mighty

March 4, 2022

After a five minute delay to the start of the program, Public Services Librarian Kathleen Abromeit inches her way to the back of the conservatory library, then pauses. “Should we give it another five minutes,” she asks, looking around the room. She’s excited. After a two-year hiatus Abromeit will announce the library’s first Tiny Ref Desk Concert. The program’s return also serves as inspiration for this week’s photo series.

This Week in Photos: January 29

January 29, 2020

Although Winter Term 2020 is complete there are still so many photogenic and inspiring moments to share. In this photo series, we visit Lake Erie; Hall Annex 100 for a theater workshop with director Joey Rizzolo; Peters Hall for an elementary Russian class; the Ninde Scholars at Oberlin High School; and a chance to sport a terrific pair of 3D-printed snow glasses.