Amanda Eyre Ward Biography
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. It 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. It
was selected as a Target Bookmarked pick, and has been published in fifteen
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
Amanda's short story collection, Love Stories in This Town, was published
in April 2009.
She currently writes every morning and spends afternoons with her two young
From the author's website
This biography was last updated on 11/25/2013.
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