Ann Packer's picture

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
"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."
Dear Strangers (2009)
Meg Mullins
"A wonder: compelling, surprising, and peopled by vividly drawn and original characters."
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."
Only the River (2020)
Anne Raeff
"Anne Raeff is a master of the family novel, and of the diaspora novel, and of the novel that spans decades and continents. Is there nothing she can’t do? With Only the River she gives us, in her trademark exquisite prose, the deeply moving story of two families joined and separated by a tiny patch of land in Nicaragua, a country as passionate and divided as the unforgettable characters who populate this marvelous 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."

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