Amanda Stern

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Amanda Stern
Amanda Stern.jpg
Background information

Amanda Stern (born and raised in Greenwich Village, New York City) is the author of the critically acclaimed novel The Long Haul ISBN 1932360069, whose metaphors, the San Francisco Chronicle called,[1] "so fresh they are almost jarring". In 2003 Stern founded the highly acclaimed and popular The Happy Ending Music and Reading Series. A permanent resident of New York City, Stern makes her living writing children's books, and producing and hosting literary events for cultural organizations such as The National Book Foundation, for whom she hosted the National Book Award's first ever "5 Under 35" ceremony, and The PEN American Center, Yaddo, the French Embassy, MASS MoCA and others. Her fiction, non-fiction, and poetry have appeared in, among other places, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, Filmmaker, The Believer, Post Road, St. Ann's Review, Salt Hill, Hayden's Ferry Review, Five Chapters and Spinning Jenny.

Stern launched her series, "Happy Ending", in 2003 out of a small Chinatown bar. Cited by critics of The Village Voice, New York magazine, NY Press and The New Yorker as the best series in New York City,[2] with Time Out New York calling it the "most vital authors' series in NYC", and "consistently one of the most entertaining literary events in the city".[3] Stern's reputation as a skilled host and discerning curator grew, and in 2006, she was profiled in the "New York" issue of The New York Times Magazine as one of ten "New Bohemians, helping to keep downtown New York alive".[4] The Happy Ending Series quickly became a required stop for authors and musicians on tour;.[5][6] On January 7, 2009, after five years in the small bar, the well-loved series moved to uptown to NYC's premiere performance venue, Joe's Pub at the Public Theater becoming the pub's first ever ongoing literary series. She has welcomed over 600 artists, including: Laurie Anderson, Aimee Mann, James Salter, Moby, A.M. Homes, Rick Moody, Amy Hempel, Mary Gaitskill, My Brightest Diamond and Mark Eitzel.

When she was a senior in high school, Stern starred in an off-Broadway production of a play she co-wrote, at the now defunct Kaufmann Theater. From there she turned to film, working for Good Machine, Hal Hartley, Ang Lee and Terry Gilliam, and later as a comic, co-hosting the Lorne Michaels' comedy series, "This is Not a Test", alongside host, Marc Maron at Catch a Rising Star. Soon after she became an on-air host for the Lorne Michaels' owned network, Burly Bear Network. In 1999 she left comedy all together in order to pursue a career in fiction.

In an amusing turn of events, Stern, at 33, decided to learn how to drive in order to go on a book tour. After failing her road test several times, she held a contest for a tour driver, as a prank. Publishers Weekly and the Ottawa Citizen picked up the story[7] and 45 people applied to drive her across country. The winner, Jenn McKee, won and drove Stern across America to promote her novel.

Her debut novel, The Long Haul, released by Soft Skull Press can be found in bookstores nationwide. She blogs about culture, and her series at Stern has held several residencies at Yaddo and MacDowell. She currently lives in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, home to the novelists Colson Whitehead, Jennifer Egan and Jhumpa Lahiri, where she is working on her next novel.


  1. ^ Summer Block "Reviews in Brief", San Francisco Chronicle, October 12, 2003
  2. ^ Zach Baron "Vampire Weekend to Play Happy Ending Series", The Village Voice, April 2, 2009
  3. ^ "Best Reading Series", Time Out New York, December, 2011
  4. ^ Camille Sweeney, "New Bohemians", The New York Times, September 2006
  5. ^ "Bookish Boozing" New York magazine
  6. ^ "This is Essential" Time Out NY
  7. ^ James Macgowan, Ottawa Citizen, October 19, "Driving Miss Crazy"

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