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Arthur Phillips biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Read-Alikes

Arthur Phillips

Arthur Phillips

Arthur Phillips Biography

Arthur Phillips was born in Minneapolis and educated at Harvard. He has been a child actor, a jazz musician, a speechwriter, a dismally failed entrepreneur, and a five-time Jeopardy! champion.

His first novel, Prague, was named a New York Times Notable Book, and received the Los Angeles Times/Art Seidenbaum Award for best first novel. His second novel, The Egyptologist, was an international bestseller, and was on more than a dozen "Best of 2004" lists. Angelica, his third novel, made the Washington Post best fiction of 2007 and led that paper to call him "One of the best writers in America." The Song Is You was a New York Times Notable Book, on the Post's best of 2009 list, and inspired Kirkus to write, "Phillips still looks like the best American novelist to have emerged in the present decade." His fifth book, The Tragedy of Arthur, was published in 2011 to critical acclaim, including being named a New York Times Notable Book, and being shortlisted for the IMPAC International Literary Prize.

The play taken from that book received its world premiere reading at New York's Public Theater in 2011 and became a full stage production in 2013, under the auspices of the Guerrilla Shakespeare Project. His short story, "Companionship," was adapted into an opera by Rachel Peters and received its debut at the Fort Worth Opera in 2019.

The film version of Angelica was released in 2015, and other films based on his work are currently in development. His work has been published in twenty-seven languages.

He has written for television's Damages (FX/DirecTV), Bloodline (Netflix), Tokyo Vice (HBOMax) and created television series for FX Networks, HBO, and Sundance. He has further television pilots in development.

He lives in New York with his two sons.

Arthur Phillips's website

This bio was last updated on 01/31/2020. 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

Hemingway said 'write what you know'.  Find out why Arthur Phillips disagrees.

Write what you know!

Hemingway’s tyrannical proverb haunts writing classes and roils the sleep of the lonely would-be novelist, who in relentless dreams and depressing reality alike feels himself drowning in Uncle Ernest’s quasi-papal bull. "Write what I know? What I know… But what," the author frets, "if I don’t know anything?"

In that case, not to worry, for there is always the British Museum.

If you should decide to write a novel about a topic you know almost nothing about, a scholarly discipline requiring years to master, if you feel compelled to set the story in a land you’ve scarcely visited, during an era you can only dimly conjure from childhood reading and yellowed clippings, if you have followed your hyperactive and petulant imagination down a rabbit hole and there gazed at glowing, magical projections of inverted pyramids and pith-helmeted lunatics and pharaohs with unconventional appetites, but found little by way of actual knowledge, rest easy, because at the British Museum you will make a new friend: an expert who not only knows everything, but who is required--yes, required--to answer all your e-questions, no matter how many, how foolish, how wrong-headed, fantastic, or ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Arthur Phillips at BookBrowse
The King at the Edge of the World jacket The Tragedy of Arthur jacket The Song Is You jacket Angelica jacket
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Read-Alikes

All the books below are recommended as read-alikes for Arthur Phillips 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 read-alikes

  • Tom Bissell

    Tom Bissell

    Tom Bissell is the author of Chasing the Sea, God Lives in St. Petersburg, The Father of All Things, Why Video Games Matter, Magic Hours: Essays On Creators and Creation (2012) and Apostle: Travels Among the Tombs of the ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Prague

    Try:
    God Lives In St. Petersburg
    by Tom Bissell

  • Louis de Bernieres

    Louis de Bernieres

    Louis de Bernières works include A Partisan's Daughter, Birds Without Wings, Red Dog, Sunday Morning at the Centre of the World, Corelli's Mandolin (Commonwealth Writers' Prize, Best Book, 1995), The ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Prague

    Try:
    Birds Without Wings
    by Louis de Bernieres

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