Arana speaking at the Peruvian Embassy in Washington, DC in 2010
|Occupation||Author (fiction and nonfiction), Critic|
|Notable works||American Chica, "Cellophane," Lima Nights," "The Writing Life," "Bolívar: American Liberator"|
Marie Arana was born in Peru, the daughter of Jorge Arana Cisneros, a Peruvian born civil engineer, and Marie Campbell Arana. She moved with her family to the United States at the age of 9, achieved her B.A. in Russian at Northwestern University, her M.A. in linguistics at Hong Kong University, a certificate of scholarship at Yale University in China, and began her career in book publishing, where she was vice president and senior editor at Harcourt Brace and Simon & Schuster.
For more than a decade she was the editor in chief of "Book World", the book review section of The Washington Post, during which time she instituted the partnership of The Washington Post with the White House (First Lady Laura Bush) and the Library of Congress (Dr. James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress) in hosting the annual National Book Festival on the Washington Mall. She is currently Co-Director of the National Book Festival. Arana is a Writer at Large for The Washington Post. She is married to Jonathan Yardley, the Post's chief book critic, and has two children from a previous marriage, Lalo Walsh and Adam Ward; as well as two stepchildren, Jim Yardley and Bill Yardley.
Marie Arana is the author of a memoir about a bicultural childhood American Chica: Two Worlds, One Childhood (finalist for the 2001 National Book Award as well as the Martha PEN/Albrand Award for the Art of the Memoir); editor of a collection of Washington Post essays about the writer's craft, The Writing Life (2002); and the author of Cellophane (a satirical novel set in the Peruvian Amazon, published in 2006, and a finalist for the John Sargent Prize). Her most recent novel, published in January 2009, is Lima Nights (its Spanish edition  was selected by El Comercio's chief book critic as one of the best five novels of 2013 in Peru. Arana's most recent book is "Bolívar: American Liberator," a biography of the South American revolutionary leader and founder Simon Bolivar The book was published by Simon and Schuster in April 2013. It won the 2014 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography. She has written introductions for many books, among them a National Geographic book of aerial photographs of South America, Through the Eyes of the Condor. and she is a frequent spokesperson on Hispanic issues, Latin America, and the book industry.
Arana has served on the board of directors of the National Book Critics Circle and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. For many years, she has directed literary events for the Americartes Festivals at the Kennedy Center. She has been a judge for the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award as well as for the National Book Critics Circle. Her commentary has been published in the New York Times, the "Virginia Quarterly Review," USA Today, Civilization, Smithsonian magazine, National Geographic, and numerous other literary publications throughout the Americas.
Arana was a Fellow at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University in 1996 and then again in 1999, an Invited Research Scholar at Brown University in 2008-2009. In October 2009, Arana received the Alumnae Award of the Year at Northwestern University.
In April 2009, Arana was named John W. Kluge Distinguished Scholar at the Library of Congress through 2010. In September 2009, she was elected to the Scholars' Council of the Library of Congress as well as the Board of Directors of the National Book Festival. She is currently Senior Consultant for Special Projects to the Librarian of Congress and Executive Director of the National Book Festival.
Arana is also the scriptwriter for the Latin American portion of the film "Girl Rising," which describes the life of Senna, a 14-year-old girl in the Andean gold-mining town of La Rinconada. At 17,000 feet above sea level, it is the highest human habitation in the world. The film was part of a campaign to promote the importance of girls' education.
In March 2015, Arana directed the Iberian Suite Festival Literary Series for the Kennedy Center. In the course of seven programs, she featured more than two dozen Spanish-language and Portuguese-language writers from all around the world.
- American Chica: Two Worlds, One Childhood. The Dial Press. 2001. ISBN 0-385-31962-2. - a memoir about a bicultural childhood; finalist for the 2001 National Book Award
- The Writing Life: Writers on How They Think and Work: A Collection from the Washington Post Book World, editor, PublicAffairs, 2002, ISBN 9781586481490
- Cellophane. The Dial Press. 2006. ISBN 0-385-33664-0. - a satirical novel set in the Peruvian Amazon; finalist for the John Sargent Prize
- Lima Nights. The Dial Press. 2009. ISBN 9780385342599. - a love story set in contemporary Peru
- "Introduction by Marie Arana". Through the Eyes of the Condor. Robert B. Haas (photographer). National Geographic. 2007. ISBN 9781426201325.
- Stone Offerings: Machu Picchu's Terraces of Enlightenment, photographs by Mike Torrey, Introduction by Marie Arana, Lightpoint, 2009, Winner of the 2010 Benjamin Franklin Award, Best Art Book of the Year
- Bolivar: American Liberator, Simon & Schuster, 2013, ISBN 9781439110195 - winner of the 2014 Los Angeles Times Book Award in biography.
- "Marie Arana". Library of Congress. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- "Marie Arana". The Washington Post. 2012-03-27. Retrieved 2012-03-31.
- "Marie Arana Examines Two Americas". Rollins.edu. 2011-04-08. Retrieved 2012-03-31.
- "Marie Arana". The Washington Post. 2012-03-27. Retrieved 2012-03-31.
- Bolivar: American Liberator, reviewed by Joseph J. Ellis, The Washington Post, April 5, 2013
- Carolyn Kellogg (April 11, 2014). "Jacket Copy: The winners of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes are ...". LA Times. Retrieved April 14, 2014.
- Moore, Judy (October 21, 2009). "Marie Arana to Receive 2009 Northwestern Alumnae Award Oct. 22". Northwestern University. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize, The Mercantile Library Center for Fiction, 2006
- "Through the Eyes of the Condor by Robert B. Haas, Introduction by Marie Arana, Random House, 2007". Randomhouse.com. 2007-09-18. Retrieved 2012-03-31.
- May WIW Conference Features Washington Post ‘Book World’ Editor Marie Arana, Washington Writer Volume 28, No. 4, April 2003 (Google cached HTML version at the Wayback Machine (archived July 2, 2003))
- Marie Arana at Random House
- Contemporary Authors (Biography - Arana, Marie), Thomson Gale, 2006
- Washingtonian article
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Marie Arana.|
- "Marie Arana Examines Two Americas," by Justin Braun, Rollins.com, April 8, 2011
- American Writers Museum, Marie Arana's page, accessed December 7, 2010
- "The Thanksgiving Cultural Blend," by Marie Arana, Real Simple Magazine, November 2010?
- "Women's History Month celebrated with writer Marie Arana at the Embassy of Peru in Washington," SwedishScene.com, April 1, 2010
- 2008-2009 John Carter Brown Library Scholars in Residence
- A Few Words with Marie Arana, by Ben Jonjak, Living in Peru, March 9, 2009
- "Best books...chosen by Marie Arana," TheWeek.com, February 12, 2009
- "We Are a Nation of Many Voices" by Marie Arana, America.gov, February 5, 2009
- Book Review: Marie Arana's "Lima Nights," by Jan Stuart, New York Times, February 9, 2008
- Review of Marie Arana's "Lima Nights," by Elaina Richardson, Oprah.com, 2008
- Employment Testimonials: Marie Arana, The Washington Post
- The Washington Post's Off the Page host Carole Burns interviews Marie Arana and Richard Bausch, December 10, 2007
- The Stones She Carries, by Marie Arana, The Washington Post Magazine, December 2, 2007
- "Through the Eyes of the Condor: An Aerial Vision of Latin America," by Marie Arana (adapted from the introduction by Marie Arana to the book by Robert B. Haas), NationalGeographic.com, October 2007
- "Crossing the Divide: Novelist Daniel Alarcón's writings evoke the gritty, compelling landscape of urban Latin America," by Marie Arana, Smithsonian magazine, October 2007
- Favorites: Marie Arana, by Garrett M. Graff, Washingtonian Magazine, August 1, 2006
- 'Cellophane': Life in an Amazon Factory Town' Marie Arana's Cellophane reviewed by Dominique de Turenne, NPR's Day to Day, host: Noah Adams, July 26, 2006
- Sorted And Sort of . . ., Marie Arana and Jonathan Yardley (Staff Writers), The Washington Post, March 23, 2006
- Recent Washington Post articles by Marie Arana
- Photo of Marie Arana, luncheon keynote speaker, signing copies of her book "America Chica," VABOOK! Photo Album, Virginia Festival of the Book, March 20-24, 2002
- A Conversation with Marie Arana, by Bella Stander, Albemarle, February/March 2002
- "The Face in the Mirror," by Alberto Manguel, review of Marie Arana's American Chica, The Washington Post, May 7, 2001
- Marie Arana discusses Maxine Hong Kingston's "Woman Warrior," The Washington Post Book Club LiveOnline, April 24, 2000
- Washington Post Book World editor steps down: Heir apparent's personal life may complicate matters., Craig Offman, Salon.com, July 15, 1999
- "Three Marielitos, Three Manifest Destinies," by Marie Arana-Ward, The Washington Post, July 9, 1996
Book reviews by Marie Arana
- Book Review by Marie Arana: "An Atlas of Impossible Longing" by Anuradha Roy, The Washington Post, April 25, 2011
- "Sally Ryder Brady's memoir of marriage, 'A Box of Darkness,'" review by Marie Arana of "A Box of Darkness" by Sally Ryder Brady, The Washington Post, February 4, 2011
- "Undone by a House of Dreams," review of "Bird Cloud: A Memoir" by Annie Proulx, by Marie Arana, The Washington Post, January 21, 2011
- "A History of Ballet: it's not all tutus and sugar plums," review of Apollo's Angels: A History of Ballet, by Jennifer Homans. Random House. by Marie Arana, The Washington Post, December 22, 2010
- Stacy Schiff's new biography of Cleopatra, reviewed by Marie Arana, The Washington Post Book World, November 2, 2010
- Jessica Stern's "Denial: A Memoir of Terror," reviewed by Marie Arana, The Washington Post Book World, August 15, 2010
- "Marie Arana reviews 'Dreams in a Time of War' by Ngugi wa Thiong'o," The Washington Post, March 10, 2010
- Andre Aciman's "Eight White Nights," reviewed by Marie Arana, The Washington Post Book World, February 9, 2010
- "Love as a relic, frozen in amber," review of "The Museum of Innocence," by Orhan Pamuk, The Washington Post Book World, October 20, 2009
Off the Page: Writers Talk About Beginnings, Endings, and Everything in Between, WashingtonPost.com
Live Online, Book Club Live!, WashingtonPost.com
- Marie Arana, Book World Editor, hosts discussion of Alice McDermott's "At Weddings and Wakes," November 3, 2000
Commentary by Marie Arana
- "Why We Should Get Rid of the Nobel Prize in Literature," by Marie Arana, The Washington Post Outlook, April 19, 2009
- "He's Not Black," by Marie Arana, The Washington Post Outlook, November 30, 2008
- The Elusive Hispanic / Latino Identity, Marie Arana, Nieman Reports, Nieman Foundation, Summer 2001 (excerpted from a resource guide for journalists put together by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists)
- "A Conversation with Laura Lippman," interview with author Laura Lippman by Marie Arana, The Washington Post Book World, August 11, 2009
- Marie Arana hosts Barack Obama, Amy Sedaris, and John Updike, Book Expo America #12 – Saturday Book & Author Breakfast, June 23, 2006
- Marie Arana discusses American Chica on NPR's The Diane Rehm Show, January 6, 2001
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Marie Arana introduces Dr. James Billington, Library of Congress, who presents author Isabel Allende, followed by dialogue between Allende and Arana, National Book Festival, October 2010 on YouTube
- Marie Arana speaks at Embassy of Peru, May 1, 2010 on YouTube
- Marie Arana's address at Northwestern University upon being awarded 2009 Alumnae of the Year, 3 of 3 on YouTube
- Marie Arana's address at Northwestern University upon being awarded 2009 Alumnae of the Year, 2 of 3 on YouTube
- Marie Arana's address at Northwestern University upon being awarded 2009 Alumnae of the Year, 1 of 3 on YouTube
- Celebration of Marie Arana, words by Bob Kaiser, Marcus Brauchli, Donald Graham, The Washington Post Newsroom, December 18, 2008 on YouTube
- Marie Arana presents the 2008 National Book Award in Nonfiction to Annette Gordon-Reed, for "The Hemingses of Monticello." Eric Bogosian introduces Arana. More information at nationalbook.org. (video posted December 4, 2008) on YouTube
- Marie Arana delivers 2008 Hispanic Heritage Month Keynote Address, The Library of Congress, Washington, DC, September 18, 2008
- Marie Arana speaking at National Book Festival, The Library of Congress, Washington, DC, September 30, 2006
- Marie Arana speaking at National Book Festival, introduction by Michael Dirda, The Library of Congress, Washington, DC, September 8, 2001