Anita Shreve

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Anita Shreve
Born Anita Hale Shreve
October 7, 1946
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died (aged 71)
Newfields, New Hampshire, U.S.
Occupation Writer, novelist
Nationality American
Period 1975 – 2018
Genre Fiction, non-fiction

Anita Hale Shreve (October 7, 1946 – March 29, 2018) was an American writer, chiefly known for her novels. One of her first published stories, Past the Island, Drifting (published in 1975), was awarded an O. Henry Prize in 1976.[1]

Born in Boston as the eldest of three daughters,[2] Shreve grew up in Dedham, Massachusetts. Her father, Richard Harold Shreve (1922–2005),[3][4] was an airline pilot for Delta Air Lines and later a trompe l'oeil painter, while her mother, Bibiana Kennedy, was a homemaker.[2][5][6] Shreve graduated in 1968 from Tufts University.

She was married to Jack Christensen, her first husband, while he finished his medical degree at Harvard medical school. She met her second husband, Clay Wescott, at Reading Memorial High School, where they were both teachers. She then shifted to teaching at Hingham High School. Anita and Clay were living in Hingham, Mass., and taking part in a Wescott family project to build Alcyone, a 41-foot sailboat, which was launched in January 1973. Some of Anita's voyages with Clay in Alcyone became fictionalized in her later writing. Anita wanted to become a writer, but it wasn't easy. Clay and Anita had a wall of their apartment covered with all the rejection letters she got. In 1975, Clay and Anita got married and went off to Kenya together, where Clay got a job with the Harvard Institute for International Development while finishing up his PhD. During that time, Anita worked for Viva Magazine, a local monthly publication, under the direction of the talented Salim Lone. Some of Anita's Kenyan adventures also ended up in her books. One book, A Change in Altitude, was a fictional account about a climb to the top of Mount Kenya that Clay and Anita did with their friends Mary and Richard Oates. In the real story, they were near the top of the mountain, and Mary slipped on the ice, but the guide caught her before she fell off the edge. In Anita's version, Mary fell off the edge and died. Anita was a cheerful person, but her stories were often tragic. In 1978, Clay and Anita split up and returned to the USA.

She continued to work as a freelance journalist.[2] In 1999, while she was teaching Creative Writing at Amherst College, Oprah Winfrey called, selecting The Pilot's Wife for her book club. Since then, Shreve's novels have sold millions of copies worldwide.[7]

In 2000, her novel The Weight of Water was made into a movie of the same title, directed by Kathryn Bigelow and starring Sean Penn, Sarah Polley and Elizabeth Hurley. Two years later, her novel Resistance became a film of the same name and starred Bill Paxton and Julia Ormond. That same year, CBS released as a movie of the week, The Pilot's Wife, starring Christine Lahti and John Heard.

In 1978, she married again, this time to John Clemans, a photographer she met at Viva Magazine, in Nairobi, and with whom she had two children, Christopher and Katherine.[8] Their marriage ended in divorce three years later.[2][6] She was married for the fourth time, in 1989, to John Osborn, an insurance broker, until her death.[8][6] They had one son, John.[2] She died on March 29, 2018, at her home at Newfields, New Hampshire, from cancer. She was 71.[9][10][11]

Awards and honors[edit]





  1. ^ o.henry prize winner list
  2. ^ a b c d e Marinos, Sarah (1 September 2011). "Life's write angle". The Weekly Review. 
  3. ^ "Richard H. Shreve (1922–2005)". Billion Graves. 
  4. ^ "Richard H Shreve in the 1940 Census". Ancestry. 
  5. ^ Schudel, Matt (31 March 2018). "Anita Shreve, best-selling author who wrote of love and loss, dies at 71". The Washington Post. 
  6. ^ a b c Genzlinger, Neil (30 March 2018). "Anita Shreve, 71, Best-Selling Novelist Who Wrote 'Weight of Water,' Is Dead". The New York Times. 
  7. ^ Chat queen Oprah shelves her TV book club
  8. ^ a b Macdonald, Marianne (16 November 2004). "A writer's life: Anita Shreve". The Telegraph. 
  9. ^ "Anita Shreve, author of 'The Pilot's Wife,' dies at 71". The Los Angeles Times. 30 March 2018. 
  10. ^ Marquard, Bryan (30 March 2018). "Anita Shreve, best-selling N.H. author of 'The Pilot's Wife,' dies at 71". Boston Globe. Retrieved 30 March 2018. 
  11. ^ Murphy, Jane (March 30, 2018). "Best-selling author Anita Shreve of Newfields dies". Retrieved March 31, 2018. 
  12. ^ 'Fortune's Rocks': Painting the Onset of Desire a Richer Color in 1899

External links[edit]