A. M. Homes

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A. M. Homes
A M Homes by David Shankbone.jpg
A. M. Homes
Born (1961-12-18) December 18, 1961 (age 52)
Washington, D.C., US
Occupation Fiction writer, memoirist, screenwriter
Nationality American
Period 1989 – present
Notable work(s)
The End of Alice (1996)


Amy M. Homes (pen name A. M. Homes; born December 18, 1961,[1] Washington, D.C.) is an American writer. She is best known for her controversial novels and unusual stories, most notably The End of Alice (1996), a novel about a convicted child molester and murderer. She has also written a memoir, The Mistress's Daughter (2007). Her most recent novel, May We Be Forgiven, was published by Viking Books on September 27, 2012. The first chapter of the novel appeared in Granta's 100th issue edited by William Boyd, and was selected by Salman Rushdie for The Best American Short Stories 2008.

Early life[edit]

She received her BA in 1985 from Sarah Lawrence College,[2] where she studied with the author Grace Paley. She earned her M.F.A. from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop.[citation needed]



Homes' first novel, Jack, an exploration of family life and sexuality, was published to critical acclaim in 1989; with a screenplay by the author, it was produced as a film for the cable network Showtime in 2004. She followed it a year later with the short-story collection The Safety of Objects, which was released as a feature film in 2001. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Cunningham called her 1996 novel The End of Alice as "dark and treacherous as ice on a highway. It establishes A. M. Homes as one of the bravest, most terrifying writers working today. She never plays it safe, and it begins to look as if she can do almost anything."[citation needed]

Homes's 1999 novel Music for Torching—featuring characters from The Safety of Objects—brought her widest acclaim. Gary Krist in The New York Times wrote, "I found myself rapt from beginning to end, fascinated by Homes's single-minded talent for provocation.".[3] People magazine called the novel "haunting,",[4] Britain's The Observer found it "immensely disturbing".[5] Writing in The Guardian in 2003, the writer Ali Smith called Homes' collection Things You Should Know "funny and glinting and masterful, light as air, strange as a dream, monstrous as truth: the real and classic thing."[6] She is also the author of the novel This Book Will Save Your Life (2006), In a Country of Mothers (1993).


Her journalism appears in magazines such as The New Yorker, Artforum, Vanity Fair, and McSweeney's, among others. She has also been a contributing editor to "BOMB Magazine" since 1995, where she has written articles, published short stories, and interviewed various artists and writers including Eric Fischl, Tobias Wolff, and Adam Bartos.[7] In 2004, The New Yorker published "The Mistress's Daughter", an essay about Homes's meeting, after 31 years, the biological parents who had put her up for adoption at birth. The essay eventually was expanded and published as a memoir in 2007.[8]


Homes wrote for season two of the television drama series The L Word and produced season three. On July 20, 2007 she announced that she would be developing an HBO series about the Hamptons – "a cross between Desperate Housewives and Grapes of Wrath."[citation needed] For the last three years she has been developing television pilots for CBS with Timberman/Beverly Productions. She is currently developing Zoethi Zan's best-selling novel, The Never List for CBS television as a dramatic series. [9]

Personal life[edit]

Homes currently lives in New York City with her young daughter.[10] She has taught in the writing programs at Columbia University, The New School, and New York University.[11] She currently teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Princeton University.

In her memoir The Mistress's Daughter, she describes meeting her birth parents. Her birth mother, Ellen Ballman, is a mentally unstable woman who had a child with her much older, married boss, Norman Hecht. She initiated contact because she was hoping that Homes would donate a kidney to her.

In April 2007, she stated in the Washington Post, "I've dated men and I've dated women and there's no more or less to it than that."[12][13] In an interview with Diva magazine she said, "'I am bisexual, but I wouldn't necessarily define myself that way."[14]


Homes is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Cullman Center Fellowship from the New York Public Library, a Center for Scholars and Writers Fellowship, National Foundation for the Arts and New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships, and the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis. Her work has been translated into 22 languages.[citation needed]

In June 2013, she won the prestigious Women's Prize for Fiction[15] (formerly the Orange Prize for Fiction) for her novel May We Be Forgiven.



Story collections[edit]



  1. ^ Library of Congress authority record. Retrieved on November 11, 2007.
  2. ^ Weich, Dave, "A. M. Homes Is a Big Fat Liar," Powells.com, May 24, 1999.
  3. ^ Krist, Gary, "Burning Down The House", The New York Times, May 30, 1999.
  4. ^ Hubbard, Kim, People, "Music For Torching", June 28, 1999.
  5. ^ Clark, Alex, The Observer, "Book Burns Night", August 22, 1999.
  6. ^ Smith, Ali, The Guardian, "Fertile Ground: Ali Smith revels in A. M. Homes' Masterful Short Stories", May 21, 2003.
  7. ^ Bombsite.com A. M. Holmes at BOMB. Retrieved June 28, 2010.
  8. ^ "A. M. Homes Throws Readers a Life Preserver". MSN Entertainment. May 28, 2006. Retrieved March 8, 2007. 
  9. ^ Goldberg, Lesley. "OCT 17 6 DAYS CBS Adapting Koethi Zan's Best-Seller 'The Never List'". 10/17/2013. Hollywood Reporter. 
  10. ^ "A. M. Homes." Contemporary Authors Online (April 25, 2007). Gale. Retrieved on November 11, 2007.
  11. ^ Lyceum Speakers Agency, lyceumagency.com, retrieved 3-20-2008
  12. ^ Catching up with A. M. Homes. Afterellen.com. Retrieved May 29, 2007.
  13. ^ "A. M. Homes – Author Interviews". Amhomesbooks.com. Retrieved December 4, 2013. 
  14. ^ Diva magazine interview
  15. ^ "Winner – Women's Prize for Fiction". 

External links[edit]