Heinlein is a writer who explores the injustices and idiosyncrasies of American
life through her immersion in the lives of those living on its fringes. Her
first book, Among Murderers, which will be published
by the University of California Press, is a work of literary
nonfiction about three men navigating their new freedom after several decades in
prison. The book had its origins when she spent time with convicted
murderers at a halfway house in New York City's West Harlem neighborhood. Heinlein says the book
"provides an intimate sketch of a rarely seen demographic and reveals a pressing
public policy issue: more than 700,000 people are released from prisons each
year, and these numbers are growing steadily."
Heinlein is also at work on a collection of essays tentatively
titled A Portrait of the Writer as a Rabbit that
explores what life is like for "New York City's underdogs: unfunny clowns,
sleepy mattress salesmen and unhinged fortunetellers."
"While I strive to accurately portray 'how the other half
lives,' I also believe that making myself an active part of the story adds to
its meaning," Heinlein says.
Heinlein graduated from New York University
with a master's degree in journalism in 2007. She has been awarded a Yaddo
residency and fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and a
residency at The MacDowell Colony. Most recently, one of her essays won the
2010 American Literary Review Nonfiction Award. Her work has been featured or
is forthcoming in The Idler,
The Iowa Review,
The Brooklyn Rail, and
Die Zeit, among other publications.
Heinlein teaches writing at Mount
in the Bronx, New York.