Adam Ross was born and raised in New York City. He graduated with departmental honors in English from Vassar College, and holds an M.A. and M.F.A. in creative writing from Hollins Unversity and Washington University respectively. Adam lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife and their two daughters.
He is the author of Mr. Peanut, a 2010 New York Times Notable Book, that was also named one of the best books of the year by The New Yorker, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The New Republic, and The Economist. It has been published in 16 countries. Ladies and Gentlemen, his short story collection, was included in Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2011 and included "In the Basement," a finalist for the 2012 BBC International Story Award. Ross was a 20132014 Hodder Fellow at Princeton University. Currently, he is the Mary Ellen von der Heyden Fellow in Fiction at The American Academy in Berlin, where he is working on a novel.
This biography was last updated on 03/04/2016.
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Adam Ross discusses the many sources of inspiration he used in his first book, Mr. Peanut, including his own marriage, actual murder cases, Alfred Hitchcock, and more.
Was there a particular event or idea that first gave rise to Mr. Peanut?
Absolutely. In 1995, my father told me the strangest, most suspicious story about my cousin, who had severe peanut allergies and was also morbidly obese. According to her husband, he arrived home to find her sitting at the kitchen table with a plate of peanuts in front of her, and upon seeing him she stuffed a handful into her mouth and then went into anaphylactic shock. Her last words to him were, Call 911. Needless to say, I was stunned and wildly curious as to what could have happened to produce such a scenario. Almost immediately afterward I wrote, in a single sitting, three chapters that closely resemble those that now open Mr. Peanut. But then things ground to a halt. Id written myself into an exploration of marriage I didnt understand just yet. I had enough wits about me to file those pages away and let them gestate.
And there was one other really important element in the novels genesis. My wife, Beth, and I met when she was 19 and I was 24...
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