Elizabeth Berg was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on December 2, 1948.
Before Berg became a writer, she was a registered nurse for ten years, and that was her "school" for writingtaking care of patients taught her a lot about human nature, about hope and fear and love and loss and regret and triumph and especially about relationships--all things that she tends to focus on in her work. She worked as a waitress, and she sang in a rock band. One day, she entered a writing contest for a magazine and won. She wrote for magazines for ten years, then moved into novels and has not stopped since. She usually writes a book a year. Berg has won a number of awards.
She was married for over twenty years and is now divorced. Berg has two daughters and three grandchildren. She currently lives in Chicago.
About This Biography
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A Conversation with Elizabeth Berg about Open House
If you "could lift the roof--make for a real open house--and look
in-side,"what roofs would you lift? What do you think you would see?
Given my interest in things "ordinary," I would probably lift the roof of the people on my block. And what I would see are people involved in "ordinary" lives, which, for me, are extraordinary. I'm the kind of person who is entertained watching someone simply be themselves, whether they're putting their children to bed or making dinner or sitting at the table reading the morning newspaper. I like the myriad ways people reveal themselves, the great variation in the human species, as well as the remarkable similarities.
Is this what you're doing when you write--"lifting the roof"?
Yes. I look to find the heart and soul of people, of my characters. I look for the truth of them, and the truths about life that are presented through them.
Sam wants to "lift the roof" in a moment of isolation. Does writing allow you to ward off isolation? Or, is writing isolating?
Well, that's an interesting question. The answer is both. Writing is, of course, a solitary ...
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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