Ann Leary biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Ann Leary
Photo: Cathrine White

Ann Leary

Ann Leary Biography

Ann Leary is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels, The Children, The Good House, Outtakes From a Marriage, and the memoir An Innocent, a Broad.

Her work has been translated into eighteen languages and she has written for numerous publications including Ploughshares, NPR, Real Simple and the New York Times. Ann's "Modern Love" essay, "Rallying to Keep the Game Alive," was adapted for the Amazon Modern Love TV Series and stars Tina Fey and John Slattery. The Good House was adapted as a motion picture starring Sigourney Weaver and Kevin Kline and recently premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Her novel The Foundling was released in May 2022. Ann and her husband Denis Leary live in New York.

Ann Leary's website

This bio was last updated on 05/13/2022. In a perfect world, we would like to keep all of BookBrowse's biographies up to date, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's simply impossible to do. So, if the date of this bio is not recent, you may wish to do an internet search for a more current source, such as the author's website or social media presence. If you are the author or publisher and would like us to update this biography, send the complete text and we will replace the old with the new.

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Interview

Ann Leary discussed her latest novel, The Foundling, and its roots her grandmother's history in orphanages and mental health facilities in the 1920s.

Your new novel, The Foundling, is set in 1920s Pennsylvania. What is it about and what inspired you to write it?

The Foundling is the story of two friends, raised in the same orphanage, who meet again as young adults at a highly acclaimed institution for women. But now they're no longer roommates. Mary is the new secretary to the charismatic female superintendent; Lillian is an inmate, confined at the asylum against her will.

I was inspired by a discovery I made about ten years ago when I got caught up in the family genealogy craze. I hit a snag in my family tree when I came to my maternal grandmother. I knew she grew up in an orphanage, but I couldn't find any record of her birth or her orphanage. Finally, I found her in a 1930 census record. She was seventeen and working as a secretary at an institution called The Laurelton State Village for Feebleminded Women of Childbearing Age.

Your grandmother worked at an Institution for "feebleminded" women?

Yes. Feebleminded is an awful word, but it was originally not a slur; it was a clinical term for people with intellectual disabilities, as were the words: idiot, imbecile and moron. So initially, I felt proud of this grandmother I barely knew. There she was, still so young, ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Ann Leary at BookBrowse
The Foundling jacket The Children jacket The Good House jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Ann Leary 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

  • Margaret Atwood

    Margaret Atwood

    Margaret Atwood was born in 1939 in Ottawa, and grew up in northern Ontario and Quebec, and in Toronto. She received her undergraduate degree from Victoria College at the University of Toronto and her master's degree ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Foundling

    Try:
    The Testaments
    by Margaret Atwood

  • Clare Beams

    Clare Beams

    Clare Beams is the author of the story collection We Show What We Have Learned, which won the Bard Prize and was a Kirkus Best Debut of 2016, as well as a finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, the New York Public ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Foundling

    Try:
    The Illness Lesson
    by Clare Beams

We recommend 4 similar authors

View all 4 Readalikes

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