Blake Nelson

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Blake Nelson
BornPortland, Oregon
Alma materWesleyan University
New York University
Jesuit High School (Portland)
Notable worksGirl
Paranoid Park
Recovery Road

Blake Nelson [1] is an American author of adult and children's literature.[2][3] He grew up in Portland, Oregon, and attended Wesleyan University and New York University.[4] He lives in Hillsboro, Oregon, in the Portland metropolitan area.[5]


Nelson began his career writing short humor pieces for Details magazine in the mid-'90s. These articles, with titles including "How to be an Expatriot" and "How to Live on $3600 a year", explored the slacker West Coast lifestyle.[4]

His first novel Girl was excerpted in Sassy magazine in three successive issues.[6] The mail Sassy received in response was key to the eventual publication of Girl.[7] Girl has since been published in eight foreign countries and made into a film of the same name. The novel was reissued as a young adult novel by Simon & Schuster young adult imprint Simon Pulse in October 2007.

Nelson's novel Paranoid Park[8] was made into a film of the same name by Gus Van Sant. The novel, about skateboarding teenagers, won the prestigious Grinzane Cavour Prize in Italy.[9] The film won a special 60th Anniversary prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007.

A sequel to his first novel Girl, Dream School was released in December 2011 and follows the protagonist, Andrea Marr, to Wellington College, an eastern liberal-arts college modeled on Wesleyan, Nelson's alma mater.[10] The Seattle Stranger called the Girl/Dream School series "The missing link between Bret Easton Ellis and Tao Lin."

Nelson's 2011 novel Recovery Road was adapted by Disney into a TV drama of the same name. It premiered in January 2016 on ABC Family (Freeform).

Blake Nelson has also contributed poetry, essays and non-fiction to The New York Times, The Quarterly (Gordon Lish), The San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Post and Conde Nast Traveler.

He currently writes travel pieces at


  • Girl, Simon & Schuster, 1994, (reissue 2007,2016)
  • Exile, Scribners, 1997
  • User, Versus Press, 2001
  • The New Rules of High School, Penguin, 2003
  • Rock Star Superstar, Penguin, 2005
  • Prom Anonymous, Penguin, 2006
  • Gender Blender, Random House, 2006
  • Paranoid Park, Penguin, 2006
  • They Came From Below, Tor Books, 2007
  • Destroy All Cars, Scholastic Books, 2009
  • Recovery Road, Scholastic Books, 2011
  • Dream School (GIRL #2), Figment, 2011
  • The Prince of Venice Beach, Little Brown, 2014
  • The City Wants You Alone (GIRL #3), Amazon Kindle, 2015
  • Boy, Simon & Schuster, 2017
  • Phoebe Will Destroy You, Simon & Schuster, 2018


  1. ^ Blake Nelson – IMDb
  2. ^ "Children's Literature Profile". Archived from the original on 2012-02-19. Retrieved 2012-03-23.
  3. ^ "Interviews:Violence, and Silence, in Nelson's Paranoid Park". NPR: Fresh Air. 2008-03-27. Retrieved 2008-03-28.
  4. ^ a b "Blake Nelson Teen Novelist: Bio". Retrieved 2012-03-23.
  5. ^ "Portland Film Festival 2014 Schedule: Blake Nelson". Sched. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
  6. ^ Mynx, Maradoll (2010-03-04). "About a Boy: Blake Nelson, Author of "Girl". Retrieved 2012-03-23.
  7. ^ "Girl: Blake Nelson". Archived from the original on 2012-03-17. Retrieved 2012-03-23.
  8. ^ "Back in Portland, the Latest Outsider Has a Skateboard - Question". Retrieved 2012-03-23.
  9. ^ "Google Translate". Retrieved 2012-03-23.
  10. ^ The Stuff That 'Dream School' Is Made Of, New York Times' review. Second and third paragraphs. By Naomi Fry. 6 December 2011. Retrieved 18 January 2012.

External links[edit]