Maile Meloy

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Maile Meloy
Born (1972-01-01) January 1, 1972 (age 49)
Helena, Montana
Alma materHarvard College, University of California, Irvine
Notable awardsGuggenheim Fellowship (2004)
RelativesColin 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. It 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.

Meloy served on the writing staff of the Netflix series "The Society," which premiered in 2019.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Meloy is the older sister of Colin Meloy, frontman of The Decemberists, solo artist, and 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)
  • Do not become alarmed (2017)

Short fiction[edit]

  • "Demeter". The New Yorker. Vol. 88 no. 36. November 19, 2012.
  • "The Proxy Marriage". The New Yorker. May 21, 2012.


  1. ^ "THE PARIS REVIEW No. 158, Spring-Summer 2001". Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved June 9, 2007.
  2. ^ "PEN/Malamud Award for Short Fiction". Archived from the original on September 6, 2009.
  3. ^ "2004 Guggenheim Fellows". Archived from the original on June 9, 2007.
  4. ^ "Granta Best of Young American Novelists 2". Archived from the original on June 21, 2007. Retrieved June 9, 2007.
  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.
  9. ^ "'The Society' is the Netflix Sensation You Never Saw Coming".

External links[edit]

Archival collections[edit]