Jonathan Miles biography

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Jonathan Miles
Photo: Erica Larsen

Jonathan Miles

Jonathan Miles Biography

Jonathan Miles is the author of the novels Dear American Airlines and Want Not, both New York Times Notable Books. His latest novel, Anatomy of a Miracle: The True* Story of a Paralyzed Veteran, a Mississippi Convenience Store, a Vatican Investigation, and the Spectacular Perils of Grace, is published by Crown/Hogarth.

Dear American Airlines was named a Best Book of 2008 by the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Amazon.com, and others. It was also a finalist for the QPB New Voices Award, the Borders Original Voices Award, and the Great Lakes Book Award, and has been translated into six languages.

Want Not was named a best or favorite book of 2013 by Kirkus Reviews, the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal, bookish.com, bookriot.com, and litReactor.com, and was a finalist for the 2014 Mississippi Institute of Arts & Letters Award in Fiction.

He is a former columnist for the New York Times and has served as a contributing editor to a wide range of national magazines. His journalism has been included numerous times in the annual Best American Sports Writing and Best American Crime writing anthologies.

A former longtime resident of Oxford, Mississippi, he currently lives along the Delaware River in rural New Jersey.

Jonathan Miles's website

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Interview

Jonathan Miles discusses the similarities between his novels, how to go off the grid when everyone's plugged in, and what "stuff" means when it comes to people's lives.

Your debut novel, Dear American Airlines, consisted of one man's rant against life, disguised as a consumer complaint letter. Want Not, your new novel, seems like a striking departure; it's an expansive third-person novel with almost a dozen major characters. What were the origins of Want Not?

It began with an image, as most stories do for me; a mental film clip that jolts you sideways into an alternate fictional universe and in some sense strands you there. For spoiler reasons I won't say any more about the image, except that a character soon grew from it—a character who hosted a kind of party in my head inviting all sorts of strange, troubled people.But along the way she (the character) also seeded an idea in my head, an idea about our tangled relationship with stuff. About all the physical debris that we lug through our lives, and the emotional ties we develop for that debris. Following that idea led me straightaway to the place that much if not all of that stuff sooner or later goes: the trashcan. So I decided to try to tell the stories of all those people crowding my head from the perspective of their stuff—their disposed stuff, most of all. I rifled through their trash. I found all their secrets....

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Books by this Author

Books by Jonathan Miles at BookBrowse
Anatomy of a Miracle jacket Want Not jacket Dear American Airlines jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Jonathan Miles 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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  • Helen Benedict

    Helen Benedict

    Helen Benedict, a professor at Columbia University, writes frequently about justice, women, soldiers, and war. She is the author of seven novels, including Sand Queen, a Publishers Weekly "Best Contemporary War Novel." A ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Want Not

    Try:
    Wolf Season
    by Helen Benedict

  • Jonathan Bloom

    Jonathan Bloom

    Jonathan Bloom is a journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Boston Globe. He lives with his wife and two sons in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Want Not

    Try:
    American Wasteland
    by Jonathan Bloom

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