Maile Meloy

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Maile Meloy
Born (1972-01-01) January 1, 1972 (age 45)
Helena, Montana
Nationality American
Alma mater University of California, Irvine
Genre Fiction
Notable awards Guggenheim Fellowship (2004)
Relatives Colin Meloy, brother
Carson Ellis, sister in-law
Ellen Meloy, aunt

Maile Meloy (born January 1, 1972) is an American fiction writer.

Early life and education[edit]

Born and raised in Helena, Montana, Meloy received a bachelor's degree from Harvard College in 1994 and an MFA from the University of California, Irvine.


Meloy won The Paris Review's Aga Khan Prize for Fiction for her story, "Aqua Boulevard," in 2001;[1] the PEN/Malamud Award for her first collection of short stories, Half in Love, in 2003;[2] and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2004.[3] In 2007, Granta included her on its list of the 21 "Best Young American Novelists."[4][5]

Her work has appeared in The New Yorker,[6] and she is a frequent contributor to The New York Times.[7]

Describing how she wrote "Half in Love," Meloy is quoted on the Ploughshares web site as saying, "What I wound up with was a book that was set in different decades, partly in Montana—and those stories were some of the hardest to write, because it's the place I’m closest to—and partly in other places, in London and Paris and Greece. So it had very little temporal or geographical unity, but the characters are all caught between one thing and another, half in love with something or someone, when life deals them something they didn’t expect."[8]

In 2015, two stories from Meloy's collection Half in Love ("Tome" and "Native Sandstone") and one story from Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It ("Travis, B.") were adapted into the movie Certain Women directed by Kelly Reichardt. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2016 and was released by IFC Films in October 2016. A story from the book was also featured on This American Life's 2016 Christmas episode, read aloud by Meloy.

Personal life[edit]

Meloy is the older sister of Colin Meloy, frontman of The Decemberists, solo artist, and also the author of The Wildwood Chronicles novels Wildwood, Under Wildwood and Wildwood Imperium. Their aunt, the late Ellen Meloy, was also an author.

Maile Meloy lives in Los Angeles.


  • Half in Love: Stories (2002)
  • Liars and Saints (2003)
  • A Family Daughter (2006)
  • Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It: Stories (2009)
  • The Apothecary Series (books)
    • The Apothecary (2011)
    • The Apprentices (2013)
    • The After-Room (2015)

Short fiction[edit]

Title Year First published in Reprinted in
Demeter 2012 The New Yorker 88/36 (November 19, 2012)

The Proxy Marriage

2012 The New Yorker (May 21, 2012)


  1. ^ "THE PARIS REVIEW No. 158, Spring-Summer 2001". 
  2. ^ "PEN/Malamud Award for Short Fiction". Archived from the original on September 6, 2009. 
  3. ^ "2004 Guggenheim Fellows". 
  4. ^ "Granta Best of Young American Novelists 2". 
  5. ^ Sittenfeld, Curtis (July 8, 2009). "Irrational Behavior". New York Times. Retrieved July 28, 2011. 
  6. ^ Meloy, Maile (December 22, 2003). "Hot or Cold". New Yorker. Retrieved July 28, 2011. 
  7. ^ Meloy, Maile (May 20, 2007). "Domestic Disturbances: A review of Helen Simpson's "In the Driver's Seat"". The New York Times. Retrieved May 12, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Zacharis Award Winner Maile Meloy". Ploughshares. Winter 2003–2004. Archived from the original on June 9, 2007. 

External links[edit]

Archival collections[edit]