Carolyn Turgeon biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Carolyn Turgeon
photo: Miriam Berkley

Carolyn Turgeon

Carolyn Turgeon Biography

Turgeon was born in Michigan and grew up in Illinois, Texas, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. She started writing from a very young age, of 8, i.e. when she wrote her very first piece.

She graduated from Penn State and then went on to graduate school at UCLA. Her first novel Rain Village was published in 2006 and since then she has published three more novels all based on cassic fairytales that include, Godmother: The Secret Cinderalla Story, Mermaid, and The Next Full Moon. Her latest work, The Fairest of Them All was published in 2013.

She now lives between Pennsylvania and New York, teaches in Alaska at the University of Alaska.

Carolyn Turgeon's website

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Interview

Carolyn Turgeon discusses why the circus had such a strong influence on her first book, Rain Village.

How did you decide to write about circuses?
It really began a bit randomly, the way things do. I had written a short story for a class I took in college with Paul West, about this strange rain-soaked place called Rain Village. That original narrator, Alice, mentions, very briefly, how a carnival goes through the village once a year, how they all go to see the girl on the trapeze, who hangs above them “like a wingless bird” while they wait for her to fall. This was just a random couple of lines; I had been taken with the beauty of trapeze because of the German film Wings of Desire, those gorgeous, melancholy black-and-white scenes of Solveig Dommartin with her white feathered wings, Nick Cave playing in the background. Anyway, years later, as that short story developed into a book, the trapeze girl Tessa became one of the narrators—the first draft was five narrators all talking about Rain Village and their relationships to it—and then, eventually, the sole narrator, when it became clear that her voice was the strongest. Rain Village became the place Tessa’s mentor Mary Finn was from, and the original narrator Alice dropped out completely. And the more I told Tessa’s story, which, naturally, included ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Carolyn Turgeon at BookBrowse
Rain Village jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Carolyn Turgeon 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

  • Sara Gruen

    Sara Gruen

    Sara Gruen, the author of Ape House and Water for Elephants, moved to the United States from Canada in 1999 for a job as a technical writer. She was laid off in 2001 and decided to pursue a lifelong dream of writing fiction. ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Rain Village

    Try:
    Water for Elephants
    by Sara Gruen

  • Robert Hellenga

    Robert Hellenga

    Hellenga grew up in Three Oaks, Michigan, a typical Midwestern small town, but spent summers in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where his father, a commission merchant with a seasonal business, handled produce that was shipped there ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Rain Village

    Try:
    Philosophy Made Simple
    by Robert Hellenga

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