Jonathan Miles biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Jonathan Miles
Photo: Erica Larsen

Jonathan Miles

Jonathan Miles Biography

Jonathan Miles's first novel, Dear American Airlines, was named a New York Times Notable Book and a Best Book of the Year by the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal. A former columnist for the New York Times, he serves as a contributing editor to magazines as diverse as Field & Stream and Details, and writes regularly for the New York Times Book Review and The Literary Review (UK). A former longtime resident of Oxford, Mississippi, he currently lives with his family in rural New Jersey.

About This Biography
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Interview

Author Jonathan Miles discusses the inspiration for Want Not and how much "Freeganism" he participated in as part of research.


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 ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Jonathan Miles at BookBrowse
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.
How we choose readalikes

  • 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 son in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Want Not

    Try:
    American Wasteland
    by Jonathan Bloom

  • Kate Christensen

    Kate Christensen

    Kate Christensen is the author of numerous novels, including In the Drink, Jeremy Thrane, The Epicure's Lament, and Trouble. The Great Man won the 2008 PEN/Faulkner Award. She has written reviews and essays for numerous ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Want Not

    Try:
    The Astral
    by Kate Christensen

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