Maria Semple biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Maria Semple

Maria Semple

Maria Semple Biography

Maria Semple's first novel, This One is Mine, was set in Los Angeles, where she also wrote for television shows including Arrested Development, Mad About You, and Ellen. She escaped from Los Angeles and lives with her family in Seattle, where her second novel Where'd You Go, Bernadette take place. It was published by Little, Brown & Co. in August, 2012.

Maria Semple's website

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Interview

Maria Semple talks with Greg Olear about her latest novel, Where'd You Go, Bernadette?, an endlessly funny romp with surprising depth beneath its surface.

GO: I'm going to start with a question I was asked when Fathermucker came out, of my portrayal of New Paltz in that book: are you concerned that all of Seattle will turn up the "freeze" when they read Bernadette? Because you destroy that place.

MS: I'm not at all worried. First off, the people who seem to love the book the most are the ones from Seattle. Not only do they find the book funny, but I think they find it especially hilarious that I'd do something so ballsy as move to their city and shred it. Second, the book ends up being very pro-Seattle, and not that you asked, but that's how I feel about the place now. (Although I didn't when I first moved here three years ago.) Also, I think there's a real sweetness to the book that rises above the individual rants.



GO: How about Canadians?

MS: Yeah, Canadians will probably be offended. But who cares?



GO: When I teach, I stress the idea that when we read a novel, we should have an idea of what it is that we're reading. Gatsby is Nick Carroway sitting in St. Paul jotting down his recollections of the previous summer; Catcher is a transcript of Holden Caulfield spilling his guts to a therapist in a sanitarium. Many if not most novels...

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Books by this Author

Books by Maria Semple at BookBrowse
Today Will Be Different jacket Where'd You Go, Bernadette jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Maria Semple 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

  • Robert Boswell

    Robert Boswell

    Robert Boswell has published seven novels, three story collections, and two books of nonfiction. He has had one play produced. His work has earned him two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, a Guggenheim Fellowship, ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Where'd You Go, Bernadette

    Try:
    Tumbledown
    by Robert Boswell

  • Augusten Burroughs

    Augusten Burroughs

    Augusten Burroughs is the author of Running with Scissors, Dry, Magical Thinking: True Stories, Possible Side Effects, A Wolf at the Table and You Better Not Cry. Burroughs's writing has appeared in numerous magazines and ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Where'd You Go, Bernadette

    Try:
    Running with Scissors
    by Augusten Burroughs

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

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