Curtis Sittenfeld

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Curtis Sittenfeld
BornElizabeth Curtis Sittenfeld
(1975-08-23) August 23, 1975 (age 44)
Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
Alma materStanford University (BA)
University of Iowa (MFA)
RelativesP.G. Sittenfeld (brother)

Elizabeth Curtis Sittenfeld (born 1975) is an American writer. She is the author of a collection of short stories as well as five novels: Prep, the story of students at a Massachusetts prep school; The Man of My Dreams, a coming-of-age novel and an examination of romantic love; American Wife, a fictional story loosely based on the life of First Lady Laura Bush; Sisterland, which tells the story of identical twins with psychic powers; and Eligible, a modern-day retelling of Pride and Prejudice.

Early life and education[edit]

Elizabeth Curtis Sittenfeld was born August 23, 1975, in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is the second of four children (three girls and a boy) born to Mr. and Mrs. Paul George Sittenfeld. Her mother, the former Elizabeth “Betsy” Curtis Bascom, is an art history teacher and librarian at Seven Hills School, a private school in Cincinnati, and her father is an investment adviser.[1] Her younger brother, P. G. Sittenfeld, is a member of the Cincinnati City Council. She is of "half-Catholic, half-Jewish" background.[2]

She attended Seven Hills School through the eighth grade, then attended high school at Groton School, a boarding school in Groton, Massachusetts, graduating in 1993. In 1992, the summer before her senior year, she won Seventeen magazine's fiction contest.

She attended Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York before transferring to Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. At Stanford, she studied creative writing, wrote articles for the college newspaper, and edited that paper's weekly arts magazine. At the time, she was also chosen as one of Glamourʼs College Women of the Year.[3][4][5] She went on to earn an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa.[6]



Her first novel, Prep, which took her three years to write, was published in 2005 and concerns a girl, Lee Fiora, from South Bend, Indiana, who goes to Ault School, an elite boarding school near Boston, Massachusetts.[7]

Elissa Schappell, who wrote in the New York Times Review of Books: "Sittenfeld's dialogue is so convincing that one wonders if she didn't wear a wire under her hockey kilt." The New York Times named Prep one of their top five works of fiction for 2005.[8] Entertainment Weekly labelled Prep a "cult-classic" in a 2018 reassessment.[9]

The Man of My Dreams[edit]

Sittenfeld's second novel, called The Man of My Dreams, was published in May 2006 by Random House. It follows a girl named Hannah from the end of her 8th grade year through her college years at Tufts and into her late twenties.

American Wife[edit]

Sittenfeld's third novel, called American Wife (2008), is the tale of Alice Blackwell, a fictional character who shares many similarities with former First Lady Laura Bush.[10] In November 2011, it was announced that Red Crown Productions had begun work on a film version, with the adaptation written by Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Ron Nyswaner.[11]


Sisterland was published on June 25, 2013.[12] The book's protagonist Kate is an identical twin with psychic powers.[13]


Eligible was published on April 19, 2016 by Random House. It is a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in Cincinnati, Ohio.[14] In September 2017, ABC announced its commitment to make a TV pilot of Eligible with Sherri Cooper and Jennifer Levin to write it.[15]

You Think It, I'll Say It[edit]

You Think It, I'll Say It is a collection of Sittenfeld's stories that Random House published on 24 April 2018.[16]


Rodham is an alternate history political novel about the life of Hillary Clinton, published in 2020.[17] The novel diverges from reality at the point where Hillary chooses not to marry Bill Clinton and enters political life as a single woman.[18]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Curtis Sittenfeld (May 19, 2014). "Confessions of a Prep-School Feminist". The New Yorker. Retrieved July 2, 2015.
  3. ^ Wood, Gaby. "The old school ties that dominate America". Guardian. Retrieved November 12, 2016.
  4. ^ "Glamour's top 10 college women 1996". Glamour. v. 94, n. 10. October 1996. 108.
  5. ^ Reon Carter. "Local college senior makes Glamour's top 10". The Cincinnati Enquirer. September 21, 1996. C2.
  6. ^ Stuever, Hank. "Move Over, Holden". Washington Post. Retrieved November 12, 2016.
  7. ^ Archived October 1, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ The Ten Best Books of 2005," The New York Times Book Review, December 11, 2005.
  9. ^ "The untold story of 'Prep': Secrets of the cult-classic campus novel". Retrieved May 14, 2020.
  10. ^ Kakutani, Michiko (August 28, 2008). "First Lady, Second Version". The New York Times (New York Edition): E21. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  11. ^ Mike Fleming Jr. "Ron Nyswaner To Script Curtis Sittenfeld Novel 'American Wife'". Deadline. Retrieved July 2, 2015.
  12. ^ "". 2013.
  13. ^ Groskop, Viv (June 2, 2013). "Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld - A Review". The Guardian (The Observer - US Edition). Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  14. ^ Carol Motsinger. "Will Cincinnati's Mr. Darcy dine at Boca?". Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  15. ^ "Report: Curtis Sittenfeld's book 'Eligible' headed to TV". Retrieved March 31, 2018.
  16. ^ "You Think It, I'll Say It". Penguin Random House. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  17. ^ Sittenfeld, Curtis (May 15, 2020). "What if Hillary had become president? Curtis Sittenfeld on rewriting Clinton's life". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  18. ^ Brockes, Emma (May 24, 2020). "Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld review – Hill minus Bill". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved May 27, 2020.

External links[edit]