Jess Walter

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Jess Walter
Jess Walter in 2009
Jess Walter in 2009
Born (1965-07-20) July 20, 1965 (age 54)
Spokane, Washington, United States

Jess Walter (born July 20, 1965[1]) is an American author of six novels, a collection of short stories, and a non-fiction book. His books have been published in twenty-six countries and translated into twenty-eight languages. He is the recipient of the Edgar Allan Poe Award, among others, and was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2006.


Walter has published six novels, Over Tumbled Graves, Land of the Blind, Citizen Vince, The Zero, The Financial Lives of the Poets, and Beautiful Ruins. In 2013 he published his first collection of short stories, We Live in Water. His essays and short stories have also appeared in Best American Short Stories, Best American Nonrequired Reading, McSweeny's, Esquire, Harper's, Byliner, Playboy, ESPN the Magazine, Details, and many others.[2]

Walter's latest novel, Beautiful Ruins, was a number one New York Times best seller.[3] It was also named Esquire's Book of the Year, NPR Fresh Air's Best Novel of 2012, a New York Times Notable Book, and a Washington Post Notable Book.[4] Maureen Corrigan of NPR's Fresh Air called this novel a "literary miracle" [5] and Steve Almond of The Boston Globe described it as "a novel with pathos, piercing wit, and, most important, the generous soul of a literary classic.[6]

Walter's 2009 novel The Financial Lives of the Poets was named one of the best books of the year by Time, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Believer, NPR's Fresh Air, and several others.[7] Walter also writes screenplays, and has written the screenplay for a possible film adaptation of The Financial Lives of the Poets.

His 2006 novel The Zero was a finalist for the National Book Award. In a 2006 Washington Post book review, John McNally writes that with The Zero Walter has "written a new thriller not only with a conscience but also full of dead-on insights into our culture ... and the often surreal post-9/11 world." [8]

Citizen Vince, Walter's 2005 novel, earned him the Edgar Allan Poe Award for best novel in 2006.[9]

Walter is also a career journalist, whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post and Boston Globe. As a reporter he covered the Randy Weaver/Ruby Ridge case for the Spokane Spokesman-Review newspaper and authored a book about the case, Every Knee Shall Bow (revised edition titled Ruby Ridge).[10] He also was the co-author with Christopher Darden of the 1996 bestseller In Contempt.


Walter lives in his childhood home town of Spokane, Washington. Walter lives with his wife, Anne, and their children, Brooklyn, Ava and Alec. He is an alumnus of East Valley High School (Spokane, Washington) and Eastern Washington University.



Short stories and Short Story Collections[edit]

  • "Bleacher Couch Man" (2011) [included in ESPN The Magazine's Fiction Issue]
  • "Big Man" (2012)
  • "Wolf and the Wild" (2012)
  • "Thief" (2012)
  • "Love Song#79" (2012)
  • Don't Eat Cat (2012)
  • We Live in Water: Stories (2013)




  1. ^ Jess Walter biography (click "Meet the Writer" tab)
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-06. Retrieved 2013-10-03.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
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  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-06. Retrieved 2013-10-04.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
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  10. ^ Jess Walter, Every Knee Shall Bow, HarperCollins ReganBooks, 1995, ISBN 0-06-000794-X.

External links[edit]