Andrew Sean Greer

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Andrew Sean Greer
Born (1970-11-05) November 5, 1970 (age 46)
Washington D.C., U.S.
Occupation Novelist
Nationality American
Genre Romance
Years active 2001–present

Andrew Sean Greer (born November 1970) is an American novelist and short story writer.[1]

He is the bestselling author of The Story of a Marriage, which The New York Times has called an “inspired, lyrical novel,” and The Confessions of Max Tivoli, which was named one of the best books of 2004 by the San Francisco Chronicle[2] and received a California Book Award.[3]


Andrew Sean Greer, the child of two scientists, was born in Washington, D.C.. He studied writing with Robert Coover and Edmund White at Brown University, where he was the commencement speaker at his own graduation, where his unrehearsed remarks, critiquing Brown's admissions policies, caused a semi-riot.[4] After years in New York working as a chauffeur, theater tech, television extra and unsuccessful writer, he moved to Missoula, Montana, where he received his Master of Fine Arts from The University of Montana, from where he soon moved to Seattle and two years later to San Francisco where he now lives.[5] He is currently a fellow at the New York Public Library Cullman Center. He is an identical twin.


While in San Francisco, he began to publish in magazines before releasing a collection of his stories, How It Was for Me. His stories have appeared in Esquire, The Paris Review, The New Yorker and other national publications, and have been anthologized most recently in The Book of Other People, and The PEN/ O. Henry Prize Stories 2009.

His first novel, The Path of Minor Planets, was published in 2001.

His second book, The Confessions of Max Tivoli, came out in 2004. Writing in The New Yorker, John Updike called the book “enchanting, in the perfumed, dandified style of disenchantment brought to grandeur by Proust and Nabokov.”[6] Mitch Albom then chose The Confessions of Max Tivoli for the Today Show Book Club and it soon became a bestseller.[7] The story of a man aging backwards, it was inspired by the Bob Dylan song "My Back Pages." Though similar in theme, it is related neither to the Fitzgerald short story nor the film "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."

Greer's third novel, The Story of a Marriage, received a mixed reception. John Updike revised his earlier assessment of Greer in The New Yorker: "Greer is a prose writer who works on the edge of the overcooked, and there is nothing wrong with that—better that than raw—but can we believe in these highly seasoned sentences as passing through Pearl’s mind?"[8] The Independent noted of the novel, "The author's signposting is not only heavy-handed but typical."[9] The New York Times said of "The Story of a Marriage": "Mr. Greer seamlessly choreographs an intricate narrative that speaks authentically to the longings and desires of his characters. All the while he never strays from the convincing and steady voice of Pearlie.[10] The Washington Post chose it as a book of the year, and called it "thoughtful, complex and exquisitely written." [11]

Awards and Prizes[edit]



  1. ^ Powell's books biography
  2. ^ Villalon, Oscar (December 12, 2004). "The year's finest". The San Francisco Chronicle. 
  3. ^ Benson, Heidi (May 16, 2005). "Max Tivoli author wins California Book Award". The San Francisco Chronicle. 
  4. ^ Lee, Don. "Andrew Sean Greer, Cohen Award". Ploughshares. 
  5. ^ Smith, Jeremy N. (September 14, 2009). "The sky is a crowded attic: An interview with novelist Andrew Sean Greer". High Country News. 
  6. ^ Updike, John (January 26, 2004). "Mind/Body Problems". The New Yorker. 
  7. ^ George, Lynell (May 11, 2008). "Secrets that live in the Sunset". Los Angeles Times. 
  8. ^ Updike, John (May 5, 2008). "Relative Strangers". The New Yorker. 
  9. ^ Thwaite, Mark (June 27, 2008). "Review: The Story of a Marriage". The Independent. London. 
  10. ^ Walsh, S. Kirk (April 23, 2008). "Amid Social Shifts, a Wife of the '50s Tries to Piece Together Her Shattered World". The New York Times. 
  11. ^ See, Carolyn (May 9, 2008). "What We Do for Love". The Washington Post. 
  12. ^ "The O. Henry Prize Stories 2009 - Winning Stories", The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories
  13. ^ The Story of a Marriage, a novel by Andrew Sean Greer, Macmillan

External links[edit]