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JonJon Michael Varese is the author of the supernatural thriller The Spirit Photographer, which has been described as "extraordinary," "lyrical," and "addicting" by critics on both sides of the Atlantic. He is also the author of numerous pieces on 19th-century literature and culture, including an edition of Charles Dickens's Great Expectations, which he annotated and introduced for the Barnes & Noble Signature Series in 2012. He credits his development as a reader and lover of literature to his grandmother, whose mango tree served as a reliable reading umbrella during the hottest days of his childhood in his native Miami.

For more than two decades, Jon has been affiliated with The Dickens Project, a multi-campus research consortium of the University of California, and in 2016 became the Project’s Director of Public Outreach. As Director, he guest teaches for the University of Southern California's Neighborhood Academic Initiative (NAI), a college pipeline program for students from Title 1 schools in South Central Los Angeles.

He lives in the Hudson Valley.