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Ann Packer

USA flag (b.1959)

Ann Packer was born in Stanford, California, in 1959, and grew up near Stanford University, where her parents were professors. She attended Yale University and then, after five years working at a publishing company in New York, she went on to the Iowa Writers' Workshop, selling her first short story to The New Yorker a few weeks before receiving her degree. A fellowship at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing followed, and she spent two years living in Madison, Wisconsin, which would later become the setting of her first novel, The Dive from Clausen's Pier.

Genres: Romance
Non fiction
Ann Packer recommends
Yellowcake (2007)
Ann Cummins
"A gorgeous novel about people who are as tender and ornery and passionate and mixed-up and real as the people we know in real life. I loved them, and I love this book."
Lady of the Snakes (2008)
Rachel Pastan
"Both a clever academic novel and a cunning literary detective story, Lady of the Snakes is perhaps most remarkable in its unflinching and compassionate portrait of its heroine, a young woman struggling to manage the competing demands of marriage, motherhood, and career. This is a marvelous, fearless book."
Morality Tale (2008)
Sylvia Brownrigg
"Sylvia Brownrigg tells us more about the emotional politics of modern marriage - and divorce - than I can remeber reading in a long time. Its a bulletin from the front lines: timely, true, and at its heart surprisingly tender."
A Short History of Women (2009)
Kate Walbert
"Luminous... a subtle and profound book, as thought provoking as it is moving."
Girl in Translation (2010)
Jean Kwok
"Deeply compelling."
French Lessons (2011)
Ellen Sussman
"As inviting as the smell of freshly baked croissants wafting from a Parisian cafe, this is a novel to savor."
Turn of Mind (2011)
Alice LaPlante
"An electrifying book. Thought-provoking, humane, funny, tragic, a tour de force that can't be a first novel - and yet it is."
Orphan Train (2013)
Christina Baker Kline and Christine Baker Kline
"A lovely novel about the search for family that also happens to illuminate a fascinating and forgotten chapter of American history. Beautiful."
Shirley (2014)
Susan Scarf Merrell
"To the great literature of obsession we can now add Susan Scarf Merrell’s brilliant and captivating Shirley, a novel as full of passion and intrigue as any traditional love story. The twist is that the obsessive in these pages is a quiet young academic wife and the object of her fascination is none other than gothic storyteller Shirley Jackson. A fantastically original book."
The Fortunate Ones (2021)
Ed Tarkington
"To the great literature of anointment, of the young person plucked from obscurity and given a place at the glittering table, we can now add Ed Tarkington’s lovely novel of a young man mystified by his good fortune until the reasons behind it are revealed and the cost is extracted. A beautiful read."
Search (2022)
Michelle Huneven
"It's rare to find a writer as gimlet-eyed and big-hearted as Michelle Huneven, whose gorgeous novels display an unsentimental compassion that sits in delicious counterpoint to their gentle insistence on the truth. The wondrous Search tells the story of a group of people whose task is to unify around an important decision, and if that sounds possible, rest assured that this droll novel will demonstrate in hilarious and painful detail all the ways in which our best intentions run afoul of how powerfully we want what we want. It's a marvelous novel and it has recipes: in other words, it's irresistible."

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