Kelly Barnhill biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Kelly Barnhill

Kelly Barnhill

Kelly Barnhill Biography

Kelly Barnhill lives in Minnesota with her husband and three children. She is the author of four novels, most recently The Girl Who Drank the Moon, winner of the Newbery Medal. The Witch's Boy received four starred reviews and was a finalist for the Min­nesota Book Awards. Kelly Barnhill has been awarded writing fellowships from the Jerome Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, and the McKnight Foundation.

Kelly Barnhill's website

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Interview

In a spirited interview with author John Brown, Kelly Barnhill talks about her debut novel, The Mostly True Story of Jack, and tells readers what keeps her coming back to the page.

I have to start by saying I love the title of your book. It raises all sorts of questions in my mind. Was that part of the inspiration of the story or was it something you had to arrive at after a lot of hard work?

On the first question: Oh my. Titles. This title is the culmination of a whole lot of blood, sweat and tears. Okay, that's not entirely true. Neither blood nor sweat, just tears - mine specifically. This book was originally called The Boy Without A Face, then Jack Be Quick, then The Curious Face in the Cornfield, then Uprooted, then the House at the Far Edge of Town, then the A Child of Earth and Magic, then... oh lord, I can hardly remember.

The thing is, I typically don't have a problem naming pieces. The title usually comes when I've untangled the first knot of text and the beating heart of the story is just starting to assert itself. This time, not so much. I was stymied from the beginning. I asked my kids their opinions, my agent, my agent's assistant, every editor I've ever heard of. I asked my students, my Sunday School kids, kids on the block, kids at the park.

But that's the thing when you have a title that doesn't work - no amount of wanting it to be right will make it right. So I was bound to ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Kelly Barnhill at BookBrowse
Dreadful Young Ladies and Other Stories jacket The Girl Who Drank the Moon jacket The Mostly True Story of Jack jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Kelly Barnhill 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

We recommend 4 similar authors

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Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Art of the Wasted Day
    The Art of the Wasted Day
    by Patricia Hampl
    Patricia Hampl wants you to know that daydreaming is not a waste of a day. Nor is spending time ...
  • Book Jacket: Circe
    Circe
    by Madeline Miller
    Towards the end of Madeline Miller's novel Circe, the titular nymph is questioned by her son ...
  • Book Jacket: All the Names They Used for God
    All the Names They Used for God
    by Anjali Sachdeva
    Pre-publication press has already compared Anjali Sachdeva to Kelly Link and other genre-blending ...
  • Book Jacket: Look Alive Out There
    Look Alive Out There
    by Sloane Crosley
    After a brief (and thoroughly enjoyable) foray into fiction (with her 2015 novel The Clasp), Sloane ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner

A love story for things lost and restored, a lyrical hymn to the power of forgiveness.

About the book
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Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Other People's Houses
    by Abbi Waxman

    A hilarious and poignant novel about four families and the affair that changes everything.
    Reader Reviews

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