Meg Rosoff was born in Boston in 1956, second of four sisters, grew up
in the Boston suburbs, went to ordinary suburban schools for most of her youth,
and was rejected from Princeton in 1974 and went to Harvard instead.
After three years she applied to art school in London, was accepted for a year studying sculpture, packed a bag and got on a plane. She stayed in a bed and breakfast in Knightsbridge until she found a room in a flat in Camden Town, with an architect who later became her boyfriend.
Eventually she returned to the US to finish her degree, moved to New York City, spent ten short years working in publishing and advertising, and then one day quit her job, told all her friends I was going back to London for three months, and has been there ever since.
She lives with her husband and daughter. After a fifteen-year stint in advertising her youngest sister died of breast cancer. Soon afterwards, Rosoff wrote How I Live Now, which won the Guardian Award (2004), Michael L. Printz Award (2005), and the Branford Boase Award (2005), and was shortlisted for the 2004 Whitbread Awards. Her second novel, Just In Case, won the Carnegie Medal in 2007. Rosoff's other works include Meet Wild Boars, What I Was, Jumpy Jack and Googily, Wild Boars Cook, The Bride's Farewell, Vamoose, and There Is No Dog, as well as a non-fiction book, London Guide: Your Passport to Great Travel.
This biography was last updated on 08/07/2011.
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Meg Rosoff discusses her second novel Just in Case
Q. How were you able to get into the mind of a teenage boy? How did it feel
to write from a perspective so distant from your own? Justin reminded one reader
of Holden Caulfield. Are there any other characters in literature to whom you
think Justin compares, or who inspired your creation of Justin?
A: I think I'm something of a chameleon at heart, because I don't have any trouble getting into the brain of a teenage boy. Of course there are plenty of teenage boys I couldn't begin to understand, but Justin isn't exactly macho, or even particularly male. I've always thought of a long horizontal "gender line," with really macho male men way over on the left, and really feminine, girly girls way over on the right. And because I was always a tomboy and never thought of myself as particularly girly, I imagine myself as fairly near the center of the line. So crossing over it and writing from a male point of view isn't that hard for me. Though I don't think I could get inside Arnold Schwarzenegger's head!
I don't know about another character in literature like Justinthere's a lot of me in him, though I was never quite as loopy as he is. ...
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