Chandler Klang Smith

Chandler Klang Smith grew up in Springfield, Illinois, before dropping out of high school early and running away to join the circus—or rather, the most circus-like educational environment she could find, namely, Bennington College. After four years of costume parties, lonely mountains, brilliant professors, passionate 3 a.m. aesthetic arguments, and dark nights of the soul, she graduated in 2005 with a concentration in literature and philosophy and journeyed on to the MFA Creative Writing Program at Columbia University, from which she graduated in 2007. At Columbia, she began the project that would develop into Goldenland Past Dark and discovered the joys and terrors of a city grown large beyond all reason, a mutant place nourished by history and money and the redemptive elixir of art. In New York City, she has enmeshed herself variously in the great machine of publishing: as the ghostwriter of two young adult novels for Alloy Entertainment Group, as a reader for the Paris Review, as an assistant/associate agent for a boutique literary agency, and currently, as the Events Coordinator for the KGB Bar. She still loves books.

Find Chandler Klang Smith on:
The Official Chandler Klang Smith Website

Interviews/Guest Posts


“Chandler Klang Smith is clearly a writer of promise, with an eloquent and poetic imagination and a feel for language that more than matches it.”
Strange Horizons

“Smith’s first novel captures the uncertainty and surreal qualities of circus life in gorgeous prose. Her characters represent archetypes of the ‘circus freak’ as well as very real people with deep-rooted feelings and motivations. Part dark fantasy, part magical realism in the style of James Blaylock and Tim Powers, Smith’s tale deserves exposure to a crossover audience.”
Library Journal

“Smith’s debut showcases a cornucopia of memorably weird personalities in a handful of vivid moments. . . . All of this is utterly fantastic and wonderful.”
Publishers Weekly

“Chandler Klang Smith is one of the most exciting new novelists I have read in some time. Her precise, lyrical voice should enchant a good many readers. Goldenland Past Dark is an impressive debut that signals the beginning of a long and fruitful career.”
—Nicholas Christopher, author of Veronica and The Bestiary

“Like a Max Fleischer cartoon or a Charlie Chaplin film, Goldenland Past Dark sneaks in real, unsettling weirdness and lingering melancholy behind a facade of zany fun. In this vivid, highly original debut, Chandler Klang Smith proves herself to be an imaginative force to be reckoned with. Step inside this circus tent: you’ll be glad you did.”
—Christopher Miller, author of The Cardboard Universe and Sudden Noises from Inanimate Objects

“Chandler Klang Smith’s debut is filled with fascinating freaks and language that evokes the magic of a night under the big top.”
—Lev AC Rosen, author of All Men of Genius