Author Profile

Amanda Eyre Ward

Amanda Eyre Ward

Amanda Eyre Ward was born in New York City in 1972. Her family moved to Rye, New York when she was four. Amanda attended Kent School in Kent, CT, where she wrote for the Kent News.

Amanda majored in English and American Studies at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. She studied fiction writing with Jim Shepard and spent her junior fall in coastal Kenya. She worked part-time at the Williamstown Public Library. After graduation, Amanda taught at Athens College in Greece for a year, and then moved to Missoula, Montana.

Amanda studied fiction writing at the University of Montana with Bill Kittredge, Dierdre McNamer, Debra Earling, and Kevin Canty, receiving her MFA. After traveling to Egypt, she took a job at the University of Montana Mansfield Library, working in Inter Library Loan. 

In 1998, Amanda moved to Austin, Texas, where she began working on Sleep Toward Heaven. She wrote for the Austin Chronicle and worked for a variety of Internet startups. In 1999, Amanda won third prize in the Austin Chronicle short story contest with her story Miss Montana's Wedding Day. She published Butte as in Beautiful that same year.

In July, 2000, Amanda married the geologist Tip Meckel in Ouray, Colorado. They spent a summer in New Orleans, Louisiana, where Amanda wrote the short stories The Beginning of the Wrong Novel and Classified.

During that summer, Amanda finished Sleep Toward Heaven, which was published in 2003. Sleep Toward Heaven won the Violet Crown Book Award and was optioned for film by Sandra Bullock and Fox Searchlight. To promote Sleep Toward Heaven, Amanda, her baby, and her mother Mary-Anne Westley traveled to London and Paris.

Amanda moved to Waterville, Maine, where she wrote in an attic filled with books. Amanda's second novel, How to Be Lost, was published in 2004. How to Be Lost was selected as a Target Bookmarked pick, and has been published in fifteen countries.

After one year in Maine and two years on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Amanda and her family returned to Austin, Texas.

To research her third novel, Forgive Me, Amanda traveled with her sister, Liza Ward Bennigson, to Cape Town, South Africa. Forgive Me was published in 2007. 

Her fourth novel, Close Your Eyes, published in July, 2011, received a four-star reiew in People Magazine, won the Elle Lettres Readers' Prize for September, and inspired the Dallas Morning News to write, "With CLOSE YOUR EYES, Austin novelist Amanda Eyre Ward puts another jewel in her crown as the reigning doyenne of 'dark secrets' literary fiction."  

Close Your Eyes was named in Kirkus' Best Books of 2011, and won the Elle Magazine Fiction Book of the Year.  It was released in paperback in August, 2012.

Amanda's fifth novel, The Same Sky, was published on January 20, 2015. It was named one of the most anticipated books for 2015 by BookPeople.

Amanda currently writes every morning and spends afternoons with her children.

 


"What a pleasure to meet Amanda... [ She] kept the audience enthralled as she recounted her journey as a writer and the passion that compelled her to delve into topics as complex as women's death row, truth and reconciliation in South Africa, and the desperate world of Central American children, who set out, alone and undocumented, to find their mothers in that land of dreams called the United States."
-- Jean Elderwind, Co-Chair, Books in Bloom



For more about Amanda and her works, go to http://www.amandaward.com/

Reviews of The Same Sky

Ward is deeply sympathetic to her characters, and this affecting novel is sure to provoke conversations about immigration and adoption.
-- The New York Times Book Review,

Riveting, heartrending, and beautifully written, The Same Sky pulled me in on the first page and held my attention all the way to its perfect conclusion. I devoured this book.
-- Christina Baker Kline, #1 NYT bestselling author of Orphan Train



Videos featuring Amanda Eyre Ward

Amanda Eyre Ward on Gratitude, Compassion and 'The Same Sky'