Philipp Meyer biography

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Philipp Meyer

Philipp Meyer

How to pronounce Philipp Meyer: my-yer

Philipp Meyer Biography

Philipp Meyer (born 1974) is an American fiction writer, and is the author of the novels American Rust and The Son.

Meyer grew up in a working class neighborhood in Baltimore, the son of an artist and an electrician turned college science instructor. Meyer attended city public schools until dropping out at age 16 and getting a GED. He spent the next five years working as a bicycle mechanic and occasionally volunteering at Baltimore's Shock Trauma Center.

At age 20, he began taking classes at a variety of colleges in Baltimore and decided to become a writer. He also decided to leave his hometown, and at 22, on his third attempt at applying to various Ivy League colleges, he was admitted to Cornell University. He graduated with a degree in English and later worked at the Swiss Investment Bank UBS.

After several years at UBS, he decided to pursue his dream of becoming a writer. When his savings ran out he took jobs as an emergency medical technician and construction worker. He was preparing for a second career as a paramedic when he received a fellowship at the Michener Center for Writers in Austin, TX.

In 2008 he received an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers. In 2010 he received a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He has also received fellowships or residencies from MacDowell, Yaddo, Ucross, Blue Mountain Center, and the Anderson Center for the Arts.

Much of his writing is influenced by the work of pioneers such as Joyce, Faulkner, Woolf, and Hemingway, as well as contemporary writers like James Kelman.

In June 2010 he was named one of the New Yorker's "20 Under 40" list of fiction writers worth watching. His novel The Son was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2014.

He currently lives in Austin, Texas, where he is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys tinkering with anything mechanical.

About This Biography
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The Son jacket American Rust jacket
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All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Philipp Meyer 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.
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  • Cynthia Bond

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    Cynthis Bond has taught writing to homeless and at-risk youth throughout Los Angeles for more than fifteen years. She attended Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, then moved to New York and attended ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Son

    Try:
    Ruby
    by Cynthia Bond

  • Gail Caldwell

    Gail Caldwell

    Gail Caldwell is the former chief book critic for The Boston Globe, where she was a staff writer and critic for more than twenty years. In 2001, she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. She lives in Cambridge, ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Son

    Try:
    A Strong West Wind
    by Gail Caldwell

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