Heidi Julavits

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Heidi Suzanne Julavits (born 1968)[1] is an American author and co-editor of The Believer magazine. She has been published in The Best Creative Nonfiction Vol. 2, Esquire, Story, Zoetrope All-Story, and McSweeney’s Quarterly. Her novels include The Mineral Palace (2000), The Effect of Living Backwards (2003), The Uses of Enchantment (2006), and The Vanishers (2012).

Background and education[edit]

Julavits was born and grew up in Portland, Maine, before attending Dartmouth College. She later went on to earn an MFA from Columbia University.

The Believer and others[edit]

She wrote the article "Rejoice! Believe! Be Strong and Read Hard!" (subtitled: "A Call For A New Era Of Experimentation, and a Book Culture That Will Support It") in the debut issue of The Believer, a publication that attempts to avoid snarkiness and "give people and books the benefit of the doubt."[2]

In 2005, she told the New York Times culture writer A.O. Scott how she decided on The Believer's tone: "I really saw 'the end of the book' as originating in the way books are talked about now in our culture and especially in the most esteemed venues for book criticism. It seemed as though their irrelevance was a foregone conclusion, and we were just practicing this quaint exercise of pretending something mattered when of course everyone knew it didn't." She added that her own aim as book critic would be "to endow something with importance, by treating it as an emotional experience."[3]

She has also written short stories, such as "The Santosbrazzi Killer", first published in The Lifted Brow and then republished in Harper's Magazine.


Julavits is the author of four novels: The Mineral Palace (2000), about which Library Journal wrote, "the writing is superb";[4] The Effect of Living Backwards (2003); The Uses of Enchantment (2006), which The New Yorker called "a sophisticated meditation on truth and bias" [5] and Publishers Weekly described as "beautifully executed";[6] and The Vanishers (2012).


Julavits lives in Maine and Manhattan with her husband, the writer Ben Marcus, and their children.[1][7]



  • The Mineral Palace. 2000. 
  • The Effect of Living Backwards. 2003. 
  • The Uses of Enchantment. 2006. 
  • The Vanishers. 2012. 

Short fiction[edit]

Title Year First published in Reprinted in
The Santosbrazzi killer 2009 Harper's Magazine 318/1904 (Jan 2009)


  1. ^ a b "Aimee Bender's The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake". Columbia Alumni Arts League/Columbia University. c. 2010. Retrieved June 24, 2010. 
  2. ^ "About The Believer". The Believer. Retrieved June 24, 2010. 
  3. ^ A.O. Scott, "Among the Believers," The New York Times Magazine, September 11, 2005.
  4. ^ Library Journal, "The Mineral Palace," August, 2000
  5. ^ The New Yorker, "The Uses of Enchantment," November 6, 2006.
  6. ^ Publisher's Weekly, "The Uses of Enchantment," October 17, 2006
  7. ^ Birnbaum, Robert (January 10, 2007). "Birnbaum v. Heidi Julavits". The Morning News. Retrieved June 24, 2010. 

External links[edit]