Welcome to my website!                                     If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood I'd type faster...Isaac Asimov                                   I                                     

Like many artists during these strange and unprecedented

times, I feel as if I've entered the pages of a frightening

dystopian novel that's not only affecting the whole

world, it's putting my life (particularly my artist's life)

on hold, with no identifiable end in sight.  The world? 

Well, the dystopian parallels seems obvious, don't they?

1984?  The Handmaids Tale?  The Road?  Animal Farm? 

The Man in the High Castle? 

As for my artistic pursuits, how's this for disconcerting? 

Due to the pandemic, a reading of my play, FIVE DAYS

FOUR NIGHTS (referenced in the poster on this page), was

cancelled; a potential production of the play seems on

permanent hold; and weirdly (though happily) in the

middle of all this, my short play,  TIME WARP, won the

St. Louis Actors Studio Neil Labute New Theatre Festival.

Unfortunately there won't be a Labute festival this year,

or a production of the play, unlike in 2016 when I won this

same prize the first time, for another play.  I did manage to write a wicked funny monologue, which a wonderful actress named Eileen Lawless brought to life for my theatre workshop audience by zoom.  They loved it.


I started writing when I was twelve, but it wasn't until completing a masters in psychology 25 years later that 

I had an idea for a novel.  Since then there have been three novels (well really six but only three were published), including A Reasonable Madness (Birch Lane/Signet); Flight (Dutton/Signet) and Saving Elijah (Putnam), as well as many essays, articles, poetry, and recently screenplays and plays.


Translated into ten or so languages, A Reasonable Madness got  great reviews, sold about 100,000 copies in America as a Signet paperback, and became a huge bestseller in Germany.   (Why Germany I don't know.)  But all three novels were widely acclaimed, translated into other languages, and optioned numerous times for films, sometimes by famous actresses, including Emma Thompson and Isabella Rossellini. 


None of my novels has (yet) become  a film, although a few years ago a German producer  optioned A Reasonable Madness, and I've teamed up with WGA-nominated screenwriting partner, Christopher Carlson, to adapt the book for a German language film.   Chris and I are also developing an English language version of that script for US production called "The Multiple," and an exciting serial television drama adapted from my third novel, Saving Elijah.   "The Multiple," is a fascinating edge-of-the-seat psychological thriller, a la Hitchcock or DePalma, while "Saving Elijah," is a fabulously compelling cross genre family drama/ghost story/thriller  that still expresses the essential psychological truths at the core of that novel, and the profound personal experience that inspired it.  (go to  the CURRENT PROJECTS and/or  NEWS tabs  for the full story of these two projects). 

My articles, personal essays and poetry about a variety of topics have appeared in such diverse publications as McSweeney's, The Muse, Ars Medica, Forbes, Bottom Line, and American Writers Review.  I'd say all my major works (the novels, plays and screenplays) are about the same thing:   Human beings in psychological conflict with their inner demons.   It's not a coincidence that I'm also a clinical social worker and psychotherapist.  (For that Fran, go to: www.frandorf.com,

What to do on my website....


On the pages of this website you'll find all the writing details.    Look around.   Browse my current writing projects.  Buy my books if you want.  If you happen to be a producer, contact me to produce my theatrical and screenwriting work, including now three full length plays, several screenplays and a teleplay.  If you have questions, or you're just interested in my work, write to me at:  frandorf1@gmail.com or to my agent, Marta Praeger,  mprfda@gmail.com.   Here are a few lovely words from reviews of my books and plays:





    Infallibly accurate


 Poignant          Layered

A powerful imagination

Fiercely compelling

Cuts to the bone                

Vivid and rich            Searing

Skillful            Tough-minded

Saving Elijah


"A stunning novel that crackles with suspense, dark humor, and provocative questions. With sharply emotional description and unerring domestic dialogue, Dorf turns a family tragedy into a spellbinding novel of psychological suspense, and meditates, with honesty and insight, on the nature of parental love and responsibility."

                           (Publisher’s Weekly, starred review)

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Powerfully imagined...packs quite a punch! Publishers Weekly

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