Hannah Tinti grew up in Salem, Massachusetts. Her work has appeared in magazines and anthologies, including The Best American Mystery Stories 2003. Her first novel, The Good Thief, received the American Library Association's Alex Award and the John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize. Her short-story collection, Animal Crackers, has been sold in fifteen countries, and was a runner-up for the PEN/Hemingway Award. She is the editor of One Story magazine.
This biography was last updated on 08/26/2011.
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Hannah Tinti discusses her first novel, The Good Thief
Why did you decide to set your novel in New England?
I wanted The Good Thief to take place in America in the 1800s, and New England felt like the perfect place. I grew up in Salem, Massachusettsfamous for the witch trials and as the birthplace of Nathaniel Hawthorneso stepping into the time period was actually quite natural for me. Most of the houses in the neighborhood where I grew up were built in the 1700s and 1800s, and it was not unusual to have a back staircase, or fireplaces in nearly every room, low ceilings or small latched pantry doors. Whenever my family worked outside in our small garden, we were constantly digging up things from the pastfragments of blue and white china plates, broken clay pipes, or crushed shells that used to line the path to a neighboring carriage house. Once, my grandmother found a Spanish Reale from the 1700s. This unearthing of tangible history, and being conscious every day of the people who have lived in places before you is something common in Europe and other parts of the world, but in America it is more unusual. In any event, it made a lasting impression on me, and has certainly wound ...
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