Ruta Sepetys biography

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Ruta Sepetys
Photo: Magda Staroweiyska

Ruta Sepetys

How to pronounce Ruta Sepetys: Roota Suh-pettys

Ruta Sepetys Biography

Ruta Sepetys is an internationally acclaimed author of historical fiction published in over fifty countries and thirty-six languages. Sepetys is considered a "crossover" novelist as her books are read by both students and adults worldwide. Her novels, Between Shades of Gray and Out of the Easy are both New York Times bestsellers, international bestsellers, and Carnegie Medal nominees. Her latest novel, Salt to the Sea, is a #1 New York Times bestseller. Her books have won or been shortlisted for over forty book prizes, are included on over twenty state reading lists, and are currently in development for film and television.

Ruta is the daughter of a Lithuanian refugee. Born in Michigan, she was raised in a family of artists, readers, and music lovers. Ruta attended college to study opera but instead graduated with a degree in International Finance. Prior to publishing her first novel, she spent twenty years in the music industry helping artists and songwriters distill story through song.

Sepetys is the first American crossover novelist to address both European Parliament and Library of Congress. She was awarded The Rockefeller Foundation's prestigious Bellagio Resident Fellowship for Salt to the Sea.

Ruta has been bestowed the Cross of the Knight of the Order by the President of Lithuania for her contributions to education and memory preservation. She is intensely proud to be Lithuanian, even if that means she has a name no one can pronounce.

Ruta lives in a treehouse in the hills of Tennessee.

Ruta Sepetys's website

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Interview

Inspiration can strike from anywhere. In the video and text Q&As below, Ruta Sepetys discusses the events that galvanized her to write her new book, Out of the Easy, which is set in New Orleans' French Quarter:



Ruta Sepetys discusses Out of The Easy

How did you create Josie Moraine?

Years ago I was part of a mentoring program for young women. I met girls who were swept into the dysfunctional current that surrounded their home life. But I also met young women who made difficult decisions and divorced themselves from a negative environment. That's incredibly hard. Those girls inspired me. They taught me that we can learn to fly, even if we're born with broken wings. The idea of that broken, yet beautiful bird became Josie Moraine.


Why New Orleans?

My introduction to New Orleans came through a vintage pair of opera glasses I received for my birthday. The glasses, still in their original case from the jeweler in New Orleans, were engraved and dated as a gift from someone named Willie. I'm nuts about history, so I hired a researcher to trace the origin of the glasses. I learned that Willie was a woman in the French Quarter. And the jeweler who sold Willie the glasses? Poisoned. ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Ruta Sepetys at BookBrowse
Salt to the Sea jacket Out of The Easy jacket Between Shades of Gray jacket
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All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Ruta Sepetys 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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    If you enjoyed:
    Out of The Easy

    Try:
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  • Gary Krist

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    Gary Krist has written for the New York Times, Esquire, Salon, the Washington Post Book World, and elsewhere. He is the author of the bestselling City of Scoundrels and the acclaimed The White Cascade, as well as several ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Out of The Easy

    Try:
    Empire of Sin
    by Gary Krist

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