Erin Morgenstern

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Erin Morgenstern
Morgenstern at the 2011 Texas Book Festival
Morgenstern at the 2011 Texas Book Festival
Born (1978-07-08) July 8, 1978 (age 40)[1]
EducationBachelor of Arts
Alma materSmith College
Notable worksThe Night Circus

Erin Morgenstern (born July 8, 1978) is an American multimedia artist and the author of a successful fantasy novel, The Night Circus (2011). It was published in more than a dozen languages by 2013[2] and won the annual Locus Award for Best First Novel.


Erin Morgenstern was raised in Marshfield, Massachusetts and studied theater and studio art at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, graduating in 2000.[3][4] In addition to writing, she paints, mostly in acrylics, including the Phantomwise tarot deck.[5][6] She signed with Inkwell Management in May 2010 after being rejected by thirty literary agents, and sold her debut novel to Doubleday in September 2010; The Night Circus was published in September 2011.[4][6][7] She has participated in National Novel Writing Month since 2003, and first wrote about what would become The Night Circus in November 2005.[6][7] Morgenstern has since moved to New York City.

On October 13, 2006, Morgenstern married Peter Canisius, Jr. In 2011, the parties separated and ultimately divorced.

The Night Circus[edit]

Morgenstern's debut novel, The Night Circus, was published in September 2011. It is a phantasmagorical fairy tale of magic and romance set in an ahistorical late 19th century London. The book has drawn comparison with the Harry Potter series, as well as the works of Neil Gaiman, Ray Bradbury, Susanna Clarke, and Steven Millhauser;[6][8][9][10] it is not aimed at young adults, but has been recommended for teens.[6][11] The first printing runs to 175,000, and the rights have been sold in 30 countries; Summit Entertainment has contracted the film rights.[3][9] Jim Dale, who narrates the American edition Harry Potter audiobooks, also narrates the audiobook of The Night Circus.[11] Harvill Secker, the UK publisher for The Night Circus, contracted Failbetter Games to create an interactive browser-based puzzle game to accompany the book.[12][13]

In an interview with the School Library Journal, Morgenstern describes the short, self-contained chapters as recapitulating the myriad tents of the circus, and the black and white with a splash of red motif as showing dangerous passion simmering just below the surface.[11]

The Night Circus won an Alex Award from the American Library Association,[14] the 2012 Locus Award for Best First Novel,[15] and spent seven weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list.[16]

The Starless Sea[edit]

On November 8, 2018, it was announced that Doubleday would publish a new novel by Morgenstern titled The Starless Sea. Entertainment Weekly described The Starless Sea as a "sweeping new novel interweaving romantic and fantastical elements."[17] The book will be released November 5, 2019.


  1. ^ Morgenstern, Erin. "not really a FAQ". Archived from the original on 9 June 2012. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  2. ^ "Morgenstern, Erin". WorldCat. Retrieved 2014-07-27.
  3. ^ a b Leavitt, Caroline (2011-09-13). "Her life just became a three-ring circus: With major buzz and a movie deal, Erin Morgenstern's debut fantasy novel has already cast a spell". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2011-10-04.
  4. ^ a b Morgenstern, Erin. "About Erin Morgenstern". Retrieved 2011-10-04.
  5. ^ Morgenstern, Erin. "Phantomwise Tarot". Retrieved 2011-10-04.
  6. ^ a b c d e Peabody, Richard. "The Night Circus review". The Washington Independent Review of Books.
  7. ^ a b "First Fiction 2011: Erin Morgenstern: High-Wire Act". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2011-10-04.
  8. ^ Miller, Laura. ""The Night Circus": Magician vs. Magician". Salon.
  9. ^ a b Behe, Rege (2011-09-18). "Erin Morgenstern's debut 'The Night Circus' draws comparisons to 'Potter'". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved 2011-10-04.
  10. ^ Charles, Ron (2011-09-13). "Erin Morgenstern's "The Night Circus" reviewed by Ron Charles". The Washington Post.
  11. ^ a b c Carstensen, Angela. "The Debut: Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus (interview)". School Library Journal.
  12. ^ O'Hara, Jan. "Author Interview at Writer Unboxed (Part II)". Writer Unboxed.
  13. ^ The Night Circus interactive browser-based game
  14. ^ "YALSA's Alex Awards. 2012 Winners". Retrieved 2012-01-29.
  15. ^ "Locus Online News » 2012 Locus Awards Winners". Locus Publications. 2015-05-05. Retrieved 2015-06-21.
  16. ^ "Erin Morgenstern - Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau". Penguin Random House. Retrieved 2015-06-21.
  17. ^ "The Starless Sea: Erin Morgenstern sets sweeping new novel for 2019".

External links[edit]