Elizabeth Hartley Winthrop biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Elizabeth Hartley Winthrop
Photo: Julia Bishop

Elizabeth Hartley Winthrop

Elizabeth Hartley Winthrop Biography

Elizabeth Hartley Winthrop was born and raised in New York City. She earned her B.A. from Harvard University and her M.F.A. in fiction from the UC Irvine, where she was the recipient of the Schaeffer Writing Fellowship. She is the author of two novels, Fireworks and December. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, daughter, and St. Bernard.

Elizabeth Hartley Winthrop's website

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Interview

Elizabeth Hartley Winthrop discusses December, a spellbinding novel about a troubled young girl and a family in crisis, and a gripping, astonishing portrait of recovery and self-determination (Q&A contains plot spoilers).

The following questions were posed to me by a specific book group that had read December, but they are representative of the general sorts of questions I'm often asked about the book, especially regarding the nature of Isabelle's silence and the seeds out of which the novel grew.

Did you battle with any OCD issues growing up?

When I was a teenager I struggled for years with anorexia. This was a very difficult time for both me and my parents and was actually the seed out of which December grew; I wanted to examine the impact something like anorexia has on a family, and not just the afflicted person. I chose silence for Isabelle rather than anorexia, or bulimia, or self-mutilation, or addiction, because I felt that readers would be less likely to have pre-conceived notions about it. I actually wasn't familiar with selective mutism until after I started writing the book; Isabelle's silence was, for me, a metaphor for any number of ways an adolescent girl might react to the difficult process of growing up. I know you are reading "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" next, and I heard David Wroblewski interviewed recently. In his book, he makes up a kind of dog rather than having retrievers, say, or...

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Books by this Author

Books by Elizabeth Hartley Winthrop at BookBrowse
December jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Elizabeth Hartley Winthrop 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

  • Dana Buchman

    Dana Buchman

    Dana Buchman's eponymous line of women's fashion is one of the most widely distributed designer labels in the country, appearing in every major department store. Buchman lives in New York City with her husband, Tom Farber, ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    December

    Try:
    A Special Education
    by Dana Buchman

  • Susan Henderson

    Susan Henderson

    Susan Henderson is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee and the founder of the literary blog LitPark: Where Writers Come to Play (www.litpark.com). Her work has appeared in Zoetrope: All-Story, the Pittsburgh Quarterly, North ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    December

    Try:
    Up from the Blue
    by Susan Henderson

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