William Haywood Henderson was born in Syracuse, New York, but quickly migrated west. He grew up mostly in Colorado, headed farther west for college, and earned a BA in English from the University of California at Berkeley. He held a variety of jobs, including chef, copyeditor, technical writer, landscape gardener, and caretaker on a ranch in Wyoming, before heading back east to take a degree in creative writing at Brown University.
He attended Stanford University from 1989 to 1991 as a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Creative Writing, and he used the time to finish his first novel (Native) and start his second novel (The Rest of the Earth). He has taught creative writing at Brown, Harvard, and the University of Colorado at Denver.
He returned to Colorado in 1999—he missed the sagebrush, the mountains, and the sky. Since 2002 he has taught novel-writing at Lighthouse Writers Workshop. His third novel, Augusta Locke, was released by Viking in April 2006.
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