Adrian Van Young is professor “who noticed everything”

Josh Axelrod and Graham Andreae

“The Man Who Noticed Everything” is not just the name of Adrian Van Young’s published gothic paperback — this title is also a fitting description of the Tulane creative writing professor, a masculinity criticizing, pop culture analyzing, student nurturing force in the academic community.

Van Young has published two books, won the St. Lawrence Book Award in 2011 and contributes to publications such as Vice, The New Yorker, Slate, Lumina, Gigantic, Electric Literature, Black Warrior Review and The Believer. The author also has taught at Boston University and Boston College, and currently is a professor at Tulane and Bard Early College in New Orleans.

Van Young started teaching as a side job to finance his creative writing, but has since realized how fulfilling working with students is.

“I want the student to come away from the class with a better idea of where they stand as a writer — to foster a sense of independence in the student,” Van Young said.

As seen by the Edgar Allen Poe tattoo on his bicep, the author is heavily influenced by the southern gothic movement. Author John Wray describes him as “the secret love-child of so many authors I admire, from Ambrose Bierce to H.P. Lovecraft to Sherwood Anderson to Tobias Wolff.”

Anya Groner, who teaches at Loyola University, and has appeared in The New York Times and The Atlantic, is an associate of Van Young’s.

“He writes about various kinds of haunting, the murky territory between reality and surreality,” Groner said. “His essays often reflect how literature replays itself in his life as a father, teacher, husband and writer.”

Engaged in multiple projects at once, Van Young is a regular contributor to He writes “The Murder Chronicles: A New Orleans Murder Mystery,” a responsive, serialized murder saga for the website.

His latest book, “Shadows in Summerland,” which came out last May, is a traditional gothic murder story as well, Van Young’s signature style. “The Man Who Noticed Everything,” published in 2013, is a series of short stories told through a variety of styles and genres.

“Adrian’s work — it’s always so smart, self aware, but…whatever genre he’s in I feel like he’s…his own genre because he’s got his own way of looking at the world,” Tom Andes, fellow writer and Van Young’s colleague said.

Beyond his accomplishments and accolades, Van Young is known to be personable and entertaining. Margaret Stolte, a senior in the professor’s creative writing class, feels that he is an excellent professor whom she has learned from.

“[He’s] super fun, helpful and engaging,” Stolte said. “It’s clear that he knows a lot about writing and expects a lot of us.”

Stolte is not alone in this sentiment; the New Orleans resident is well-liked by his peers and colleagues. His next project is unannounced, but it is safe to say that there’s a large network of people eagerly awaiting it.

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