Jean M. Auel

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Jean Marie Auel
Jean Auel, 1990 (detail).jpg
Jean Auel speaking at the
1990 Miami Book Fair
Born Jean Marie Untinen
(1936-02-18) February 18, 1936 (age 78)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Pen name Jean M. Auel
Jean M. Untinen-Auel (Finland)
Occupation Novelist
Nationality American
Alma mater University of Portland
(MBA 1976)[1]
Period 1980-present
Genre Pre-historical fiction
Notable works Earth's Children series
Spouse Ray Bernard Auel; 5 children

www.jeanauel.com

Jean Marie Auel (/ˈn məˈr ˈl/; née Untinen; born February 18, 1936) is an American writer. She is best known for her Earth's Children books, a series of novels set in prehistoric Europe that explores interactions of Cro-Magnon people with Neanderthals. As of 2010 her books have sold more than 45 million copies worldwide.[2]

Early years[edit]

Jean Marie Untinen was born in 1936 in Chicago, Illinois,[3] she is of Finnish descent, the second of five children of Neil Solomon Untinen, a housepainter, and Martha (née Wirtanen) Untinen.

Auel attended University of Portland.[1] While a student, she joined Mensa,[4] and worked at Tektronix, as a clerk (1965–1966), a circuit board designer (1966–1973), technical writer (1973–1974), and a credit manager (1974–1976). She earned an MBA from the University of Portland in 1976.[1] She received honorary degrees from her alma mater, as well as the University of Maine and the Mount Vernon College for Women.[citation needed]

Career as novelist[edit]

In 1977, Auel began extensive library research of the Ice Age for her first book. She joined a survival class to learn how to construct an ice cave, and learned primitive methods of making fire, tanning leather, and knapping stone from the aboriginal skills expert Jim Riggs.[5]

The Clan of the Cave Bear was nominated for numerous literary awards, including an American Booksellers Association nomination for best first novel.[6] It was also later adapted into a screenplay for the film of the same name.

After the sales success of her first book, Auel has been able to travel to the sites of prehistoric ruins and relics, and also to meet many of the experts with whom she had been corresponding. Her research has taken her across Europe from France to Ukraine, including most of what Marija Gimbutas called Old Europe. In 1986 she attended and co-sponsored a conference on modern human origins at the School of American Research, Santa Fe.[7] She has developed a close friendship with Dr. Jean Clottes of France who was responsible for, among many other things, the exploration of the Cosquer Cave discovered in 1985 and the Chauvet Cave discovered in 1994.[8][9]

In October 2008, Auel was named an Officer of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture and Communication.[10]

Bibliography[edit]

By 1990, Auel's first three books in her Earth's Children series sold more than 20 million copies worldwide and had been translated into 18 languages; Crown Publishers has reportedly paid Auel about $25 million for the rights to publish The Plains of Passage and the two subsequent volumes.[11] By May 2002, on the cusp of the publication of the fifth book, the series had sold 34 million books.[12] The sixth and final book in the series, The Land of Painted Caves, was published in 2011.[13]

  1. The Clan of the Cave Bear, 1980
  2. The Valley of Horses, 1982
  3. The Mammoth Hunters, 1985
  4. The Plains of Passage, 1990
  5. The Shelters of Stone, 2002
  6. The Land of Painted Caves, 2011

Personal life[edit]

Jean Marie Untinen married Ray Bernard Auel after high school. They have five children, and live in Portland, Oregon[3] in the Goose Hollow neighborhood. [14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Alumni: Distinguished Alumni Awards". University of Portland. Retrieved 2010-05-03. 
  2. ^ Publishers Weekly
  3. ^ a b "Notable Oregonians: Jean Auel - Writer". Oregon Blue Book. January 2009. Retrieved 2010-05-03. 
  4. ^ "They're Accomplished, They're Famous, and They're Mensans". Mensa Bulletin (American Mensa) (476): 27. July 2004. ISSN 0025-9543. 
  5. ^ The Valley of Horses - Acknowledgements
  6. ^ Jean M. Auel :: Author Q&A from Random House
  7. ^ Stringer, Christopher & Gamble, Clive In Search of the Neanderthals plate 96 (1993, Thames and Hudson, London) ISBN 0-500-27807-5
  8. ^ Jean M. Auel :: Video Interviews from Random House
  9. ^ "An Evening With Jean Auel" from donsmaps.com
  10. ^ Jeff Baker (October 13, 2008). "Jean Auel wins French award". Bookmarks (a literary blog). The Oregonian. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  11. ^ "Books: Queen of The Ice Age Romance". Time. October 22, 1990. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  12. ^ "Books: Romancing The Stone Age". Time. May 13, 2002. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  13. ^ "New Jean Auel". May 27, 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-27. 
  14. ^ Prince, Tracy J. (2011). Portland's Goose Hollow. Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing. p. 125. ISBN 978-0-7385-7472-1. 

External links[edit]