Marianne Wiggins was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1947 of Greek and Scottish
ancestry. Her father, a farmer, preached in a conservative Christian
church founded by her grandfather. She married at 17 and shortly
after gave birth to a daughter, Lara, who she brought up on Martha's Vineyard
(Lara is now a professional photographer in Los Angeles). Wiggins's first
book was published in 1975 but it wasn't until 1984 with the publication of
Separate Checks that she was able to support herself with her writing.
Wiggins lived in London for 16 years and also briefly in Paris, Brussels and Rome. She married Salman Rushdie in January 1988; a little over a year later, on Valentine's Day 1989, the couple learned that Ayatollah Khomeini had issued a fatwa against Rushdie for perceived blasphemies in The Satanic Verses (1988). She lived in 56 different safe houses under the protection of the British government but, after six months, decided to take a flat (apartment) under an assumed name. In 1993, she and Rushdie divorced.
Since then, she has chased tornadoes in Nevada, explored the Amazon Basin and in general led "a really interesting life". She currently lives in Los Angeles where she is a Professor of English at the University of Southern California. Her most recent book, The Shadow Catcher, is the first of a planned series of novels set in California.
In 1989 she won a Whiting Award (awarded to ten authors annually for exceptional talent and promise). She has also won an NEA grant and the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, and she was a National Book Award finalist in fiction for Evidence of Things Unseen.
Went South (1980)
Separate Checks (1984)
Herself in Love (1987)
John Dollar (1989)
Bet They'll Miss Us When We're Gone (collection, 1991)
Eveless Eden (1995)
Almost Heaven (1998)
Evidence of Things Unseen (2003)
The Shadow Catcher (2007)
This biography was last updated on 07/23/2011.
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