Simon Van Booy

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Simon Van Booy
Born 1975 (1975) (age 42)
Frimley Park Hospital, United Kingdom
Occupation Novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, designer

Simon Van Booy is a British-American writer who lives in the United States.[1] He grew up in rural Wales, but has lived in Kentucky, Paris, Athens, New York City and the Hamptons.[2] Love Begins in Winter won the 2009 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award.


Simon Van Booy has written two collections of short stories, The Secret Lives of People in Love (2011 Finalist Award for The Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Literature)[3] and Love Begins in Winter, which won the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, the world's richest short story prize. The New York Times said that "Incurable romantics will savor Simon Van Booy's tender, Maupassant-like fables...."[4] While the Los Angeles Times said of Van Booy's, The Secret Lives of People in Love" [that], "One worries, after reading a debut short-story collection this breathtaking, what Simon Van Booy could possibly do for an encore. Write something longer?"[5]

Van Booy's first novel, Everything Beautiful Began After, was released in the US and UK in July 2011. Everything Beautiful Began After was nominated for the 2012 Indies Choice Book Award for Fiction[6] His second novel, The Illusion of Separateness was released in the US in June 2013 and in the UK in July 2013. Publishers Weekly gave The Illusion of Separateness a starred review, and said "the writing is what makes this remarkable book soar".[citation needed]

Works of philosophy[edit]

Van Booy is the editor of three volumes of philosophy, entitled Why We Fight, Why We Need Love, and Why Our Decisions Don't Matter, which The Economist said "have an instinctive appeal."[7] The Wall Street Journal described Van Booy's books as "brimming with thoughts from history's pre-eminent ponderers."[8]


Van Booy's essays have been published in newspapers internationally, including The New York Times,[12] The New York Post, The Daily Telegraph,[13] The Guardian,[14] The Mail,[15] and The Times.[16] They have also been broadcast on National Public Radio.[17] Van Booy's essays cover topics such as fashion, literacy, history, travel, and living with his daughter as a single-parent.

Stage and screen[edit]

In 2011, Van Booy delivered his first full-length stage comedy, and wrote an award-winning short film for the Morgans Hotel Group called Love Is Like Life But Longer,[18] directed by Poppy de Villeneuve, and starring Jeremy Strong, Maya Kazan, and Joan Copeland.

Simon Van Booy, New York, 2011

Teaching and lecturing[edit]

Van Booy lectures frequently at schools, universities, and libraries in the United States, the United Kingdom, and in China. He teaches part-time at the School of Visual Arts in New York City,[19] and at Long Island University, C.W. Post Campus.[20] He is an advocate of education as a means of social reform, and involved in the Rutgers University Early College Humanities program (REaCH) for young adults living in under-served communities.[21]


In 2009, Van Booy's collection of short stories, Love Begins in Winter, was launched at Partners & Spade[22] in New York City, a studio and storefront which "produces films, books, apparel, and conceptual products as well as marketing and branding projects for select corporate clients." For the launch, Van Booy was the curator of an exhibition of props and dioramas of dramatic scenes from his short story collection, and the collection included custom-made stethoscopes (containing quotes from Van Booy's stories) and vintage Renault workshop posters, all designed by Van Booy. Since 2009, Partners & Spade have carried Van Booy's "custom vintage Antarctic explorers' skis,"[23] and cold-weather hats, which he designed to support research in Antarctic regions and raise awareness for the Scott Polar Research Institute at University of Cambridge.

Foreign titles[edit]

Van Booy's fiction and essays have been translated into over a dozen languages throughout the world. In 2011 he embarked on a multiple city reading tour of China, where his books are available in two different varieties of Chinese.[24]

List of works[edit]

  • 2002: Love & The Five Senses won the H.R. Hays Poetry Prize
  • 2007: The Secret Lives of People in Love
  • 2009: Love Begins in Winter won the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award
  • 2010: Pobble's Way won Society of School Librarians International Honor Book Award
  • 2011: Why We Need Love
  • 2011: Why Our Decisions Don't Matter
  • 2011: Why We Fight
  • 2011: Everything Beautiful Began After
  • 2012: The Illusion of Separateness
  • November 10, 2015: Tales of Accidental Genius: Stories
  • April, 2016: Father’s Day: a novel (ISBN 978-0062408945)


  1. ^ Van Booy, Simon. "Simon van Booy on "The Song Is You" with Bonnie Grice". The Song Is You with Bonnie Grice. Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  2. ^ Grice, Bonnie (21 June 2010). "Save as Many as you Ruin". Save as Many as you Ruin. Prospect Magazine. Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Schillinger, Liesl (17 December 2010). "Turning the Pages on 2010: Books of Style". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ "Discoveries". Los Angeles Times. 20 May 2007. 
  6. ^ "Winners of the 2012 Indies Choice and E.B. White Read-Aloud Awards Announced | American Booksellers Association". Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  7. ^ "Five things: Practical philosophy". The Economist. 12 August 2010. 
  8. ^ "Airplane Reading". The Wall Street Journal. 21 August 2010. 
  9. ^ "images/whyweneedlove". Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "images/whyweneedfight". Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  12. ^ Van Booy, Simon (28 June 2009). "Raising a Princess Single-Handedly". The New York Times. 
  13. ^ Van Booy, Simon (17 August 2009). "Childhood: a fleeting beauty not to be missed". The Daily Telegraph. London. 
  14. ^ Van Booy, Simon (19 December 2009). "Simon Van Booy: Love and loss at Christmas". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 17 April 2011. 
  15. ^ Van Booy, Simon (23 June 2010). Daily Mail. London  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ "The Times | UK News, World News and Opinion". Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  17. ^ "Tasting The Flavors of Life As Only 'George' Could : NPR". Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  18. ^ Miller, Ken. "Poppy de Villeneuve's Elevator Love Letter". The Elevator Love Letter. Retrieved 16 April 2011.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Department of English". Archived from the original on 2001-08-28. Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  21. ^ "Newark high school students are first graduates of Rutgers early college program |". Retrieved 1 June 2014.  horizontal tab character in |title= at position 89 (help)
  22. ^ "Van Booy: Stories Make a Room Look Good – GalleyCat". Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  23. ^ "Partners & Spade Custom Vintage Skis". Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  24. ^ Yueran, Zhang. "Literature Events for March". Stories about love: Simon Van Booy in conversation with Zhang Yueran. British Council. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 

External links[edit]