Megan Abbott's picture

Megan Abbott

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Wife of Joshua Gaylord

Megan Abbott has taught literature, writing and film at New York University and the State University of New York at Oswego. Born in the Detroit area, she graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in English Literature. She received her Ph.D. in English and American literature from New York University in 2000, and in 2002 Palgrave Macmillan published her nonfiction study, The Street Was Mine.

Genres: Mystery
Graphic Novels
Series contributed to
Anthologies edited
Non fiction
Anthony Awards Best First Novel nominee (2006) : Die a Little
Anthony Awards Best Paperback original nominee (2008) : Queenpin
Barry Awards Best Paperback Novel winner (2008) : Queenpin
Anthony Awards Best Paperback original nominee (2010) : Bury Me Deep
Anthony Awards Best Novel nominee (2012) : The End of Everything
Anthony Awards Best Novel nominee (2013) : Dare Me
Anthony Awards Best Novel nominee (2017) : You Will Know Me
Macavity Awards Best Book nominee (2017) : You Will Know Me
Anthony Awards Best Novel nominee (2019) : Give Me Your Hand

Megan Abbott recommends
Print the Legend (2010)
(Hector Lassiter, book 8)
Craig McDonald
"With Print the Legend, with a James Ellroy-like scope and vision of national history, McDonald takes on governmental conspiracy, Hemingway hagiography, the under-history of the FBI, the Death of the Author (literal and figurative) and the tantalizing, destructive mythologization of the Writer's Life. While the scale is immense, McDonald's hand is deft, and we never forget that, at its center, this is a human story, complex and bruising and deeply felt."
The Good Thief's Guide to Vegas (2010)
(Charlie Howard, book 3)
Chris Ewan
"Sparkling... an utterly irresistible Sin City caper."
The Dewey Decimal System (2011)
Nathan Larson
"Like Motherless Brooklyn fused with Charlie Huston... Utterly fresh, inventive, and affecting."
The Circle (2012)
(Engelsfors Trilogy, book 1)
Sara B Elfgren and Mats Strandberg
"The Circle ensnares you from the start, with all the epic mayhem and darkness of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and with teen characters as rich and nuanced as any reader could hope for. It’s an utterly convincing world, and a resonant one, and we find ourselves wanting to follow its heroes anywhere."
Gravesend (2013)
William Boyle
"A bruiser and a heartbreaker of a debut. With echoes of Lehane and Pelecanos but with a rhythm and poignancy all its own, it's a gripping tale of family, revenge, the strains of the past and the losses that never leave us."
Shovel Ready (2014)
(Spademan, book 1)
Adam Sternbergh
"With prose chiseled to hardboiled perfection and a tale that throbs with the keen ache of noir, Adam Sternbergh's 'Shovel Ready' reads like William Gibson as directed with inky brilliance by Christopher Nolan. Debut novels as sleek, resonant and accomplished as this are a rare gift."
The Bear (2014)
Claire Cameron
"An emotional tour de force."
One Kick (2014)
(Kick Lannigan, book 1)
Chelsea Cain
"Prepare to read One Kick with your heart in your throat. Chelsea Cain has created a world that's both utterly exhilarating and emotionally rich. With Kick Lannigan as our protagonist--resilient yet broken, conflicted yet righteous--we find ourselves willing to go anywhere, even to the darkest places, knowing she'll protect us, surprise us, move us."
Luckiest Girl Alive (2015)
Jessica Knoll
"With the cunning and verve of Gillian Flynn but with a febrile intensity all its own, Jessica Knoll's LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE is a debut you won't want to miss. Sly, darkly funny and chilling-to-the bone, it gets under your skin and stays there."
Those We Left Behind (2015)
(DCI Serena Flanagan, book 1)
Stuart Neville
"Those We Left Behind is a great, brawling ache of a novel. Filled with both prickling suspense and fiercely wrought emotion, it’s a tale of the burdens of family and the weight of the past. And at its center, holding it all together, is DCI Serena Flanagan, the bruised and compassionate hero for whom we’ve all been waiting."
Those Girls (2015)
Chevy Stevens
"Haunting and harrowing."
The Killing Kind (2015)
(Michael Hendricks, book 1)
Chris Holm
"Lean, brutal and riveting, Chris Holm's 'The Killing Kind' is the kind of novel you can't put down but also want to savor. With sharply etched characters, knifelike twists and hardboiled energy to burn, it's an utter winner, beginning to end."
Where It Hurts (2016)
(Gus Murphy, book 1)
Reed Farrel Coleman
"Where It Hurts ushers us into a vivid and rueful new world with a striking and haunted hero for whom we fall hard. With his signature hard-bitten lyricism but with an urgency and darkness all its own, Reed Farrel Coleman has given us a riveting new series we'll want to live with for a very, very long time."
Down the Darkest Street (2016)
(Pete Fernandez, book 2)
Alex Segura
"With a damaged-yet-resilient hero, the meanest of streets and the twistiestof crimes, Down the Darkest Street is tense and taut. A series not to be missed."
Murder at the 42nd Street Library (2016)
(42nd Street Library Mystery, book 1)
Con Lehane
"Con Lehane's Murder at the 42nd Street Library offers up a masterful tale of intrigue, jealousy, and revenge in the grand tradition of Ross Macdonald. Not to be missed."
Sunset City (2016)
Melissa Ginsburg
"Suffused with longing, regret and a twisty eroticism... it entrances from its first pages."
Time to Win (2017)
(Goodwins, book 1)
Harry Brett
"A winner on all counts."
Every Last Lie (2017)
Mary Kubica
"With Every Last Lie, Mary Kubica spins an utterly mesmerizing tale of marriage and secrets. Haunting, psychologically deft and full of hairpin turns (every one earned), it'll have you rapt until its final pages, and also richly rewarded by them."
The Marsh King's Daughter (2017)
Karen Dionne
"I was drawn into Karen Dionne's The Marsh King's Daughter from its first captivating sentences. Troubling, sinuous and powerfully told, you won't be able to stop turning the pages,"
She Rides Shotgun (2017)
Jordan Harper
"In Polly McClusky, the eleven-year-old girl at the heart of his darkly irresistible debut novel She Rides Shotgun, Jordan Harper gives us a hero for our times. With shades of Mattie Ross but an intelligence and fervor all her own, she is unforgettable."
Watch Me Disappear (2017)
Janelle Brown
"Tantalizing and twisty, Watch Me Disappear is both a spider’s web of a thriller and a moving exploration of the deeper mysteries of marriage and family. You won’t be able to put it down, but you won’t forget it either."
Sunburn (2018)
Laura Lippman
"Note-perfect noir ... not to be missed."
Girls' Night Out (2018)
Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke
"Girls’ Night Out is a heart-stopper of a thriller, rippling with suspense from its opening pages. But it’s also much more: Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke plumb the intricacies of female friendship with skill and depth and heart. It’s a deeply satisfying read, and one you won’t want to miss."
November Road (2018)
Lou Berney
"From its first frenetic pages to its wrenching final ones, Lou Berney takes us on the ride of a lifetime...It’s a crime story, a love story, a deeply American story. With November Road, Berney proves beyond doubt that he’s one of the most talented crime novelists working today."
The Feral Detective (2018)
Jonathan Lethem
"Like The Crying of Lot 49 as written and directed by Elaine May, The Feral Detective is hilarious and terrifying and wrenching. Phoebe is one of the grandest, funniest heroes I've come upon in a long time."
Last Woman Standing (2019)
Amy Gentry
"A harrowing and razor-sharp thriller, Amy Gentry’s Last Woman Standing feels both ripped from the headlines and utterly timeless as it takes on gender and violence and the far limits of female rage. As the story twists and turns, you’ll feel breathless, troubled and helplessly propelled to its deeply satisfying final pages."
The Paris Diversion (2019)
(Expats, book 2)
Chris Pavone
"Sleek, cunning and breakneck, Chris Pavone’s The Paris Diversion sweeps you into its frenetic rhythms from its first pages. With a sprawling cast of characters, with its scissoring plot twists, and especially with Kate—as rich and complicated a hero as you could hope for—it keeps you returning for more and more. A knockout."
Breakers (2019)
Doug Johnstone
"It’s as psychologically rich as it is harrowing. I’ve come to expect nothing less from Doug Johnstone, one of the genre’s premiere writers."
The Club (2019)
Takis Würger
"A cunning, sinuous tale, Takis Würger's The Club is so wildly entertaining that, at first, it's easy to miss its deeper mysteries. But, as it unfolds, brutal truths about class and gender and violence emerge, take hold and shudder through the novel's final pages."
One Small Sacrifice (2019)
(Shadows of New York, book 1)
Hilary Davidson
"Hilary Davidson’s One Small Sacrifice is both a heart-pounding procedural and a rich, mesmerizing tale of the weight of trauma and the elusive nature of memory. Twisty, absorbing, and deeply humane, it’s a thriller you won’t want to miss."
Drowning with Others (2019)
Linda Keir
"Drowning with Others is both a deeply compelling page-turner and a timely exploration of power and authority in the hothouse atmosphere of a storied private school. You’ll find yourself racing towards its (very satisfying) ending, but its impact will linger with you long after its final page."
New Waves (2020)
Kevin Nguyen
"Mordant and fiercely smart, Kevin Nguyen's New Waves is a mystery within a mystery within a love story and it left me haunted, breathless. An ambitious, unsparing, exhilarating debut."
The Spinster Diaries (2020)
Gina Fattore
"Witty, whip-smart and winning, Gina Fattore’s Spinster Diaries is a sheer delight. In her tale of an anxious TV writer who turns to the lessons gleaned from her favorite writer - eighteenth-century novelist Fanny Burney - to navigate a health scare and ensuing existential crisis, Fattore expertly carries us from droll humor to incisive cultural critique, from lively comedy to utter poignancy."
Nothing Can Hurt You (2020)
Nicola Maye Goldberg
"Captivating, serpentine and affecting ... It subverts the tropes of the 'dead girl' genre in ways that impart its female characters with a dark majesty and mystery all their own."

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