Liza Ward biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Liza Ward

Liza Ward

Liza Ward Biography

Liza Ward was born in New York City and holds degrees from Middlebury College and the University of Montana. Her stories have been published in The Atlantic Monthly, The Georgia Review, The Antioch Review, and other publications, and were selected for the 2004 O. Henry Prize Stories and Harcourt's 2004 Best New American Voices collection. She lives in Massachusetts.



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Interview

Liza Ward, whose grandparents were two of the victims of the Charles Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate murder spree in the late 1950s, discusses which parts of Outside Valentine are based on actual research and what is entirely fiction.

Your book is centered on the Charles Starkweather killing spree that happened in 1957, before you were born. What drew you to this particular story? What inspired you to write Outside Valentine?
In January of 1958, while my father was at boarding school on the east coast, Charles Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate pushed their way into my grandparents' home and murdered them. My great aunt and uncle became my father's legal guardians and moved into the house where he had had grown up. I used to visit them in the summers, never making the connection that such horrible things had happened inside those walls.

For so long I was consumed by my grandparents' death. The nature of their death was the only thing I knew about my father's parents. This tragedy cast a heavy silence over my family. No one ever talked about who they had been. I spent a great deal of time hungrily combing books searching for any sort of detail that would bring me closer to understanding what had happened. I tried to remember the carpets at my great aunt's house, the arrangement of furniture, the arrowheads my father had collected as a boy, wondering if the murderers had noticed, run their ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Liza Ward at BookBrowse
Outside Valentine jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Liza Ward but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Louise Erdrich

    Louise Erdrich

    Louise Erdrich is the author of fifteen novels as well as volumes of poetry, children's books, short stories, and a memoir of early motherhood. Her novel The Round House won the National Book Award for Fiction. The Plague of ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Outside Valentine

    Try:
    The Round House
    by Louise Erdrich

  • William Kent Krueger

    William Kent Krueger

    William Kent Krueger is the award-winning author of a dozen Cork O'Connor novels, including Northwest Angle and Trickster's Point, as well as the novel Ordinary Grace. He lives in the Twin Cities with his family. (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Outside Valentine

    Try:
    Ordinary Grace
    by William Kent Krueger

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