Tim O'Brien biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Tim O'Brien
Photo: Timmy O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien Biography

Tim O'Brien was born in Austin, Minnesota October 1, 1946. When he was ten, his family, including a younger sister and brother, moved to Worthington, also in southern Minnesota. O'Brien earned his BA in 1968 in Political Science from Macalester College, where he was student body president. That same year he was drafted into the United States Army and was sent to Vietnam, where he served from 1969 to 1970 in 3rd Platoon, Company A, 5th Battalion, 46th Infantry Regiment. Upon completing his tour of duty O'Brien went to graduate school at Harvard University, and afterward received an internship at the Washington Post.

O' Brien is the author of a critically acclaimed collection of short stories, The Things They Carried. He is also known for his work, Going After Cacciato, that won National Book Award (1979). His novel Lake of the Woods won the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for Best Historical Fiction in 1995.

O Brien lives in central Texas with his family and teaches at Texas State University. He also conducts several workshops to MFA students in creative writing program.



This bio was last updated on 11/29/2019. We try to keep BookBrowse's biographies both up to date and accurate, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's a tough task. So, please help us - if the information about this author is out of date or inaccurate, and you know of a more complete source, please let us know. Authors and publishers: If you wish to make changes to a bio, send the complete biography as you would like it displayed so that we can replace the old with the new.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Interview

Tim O'Brien discusses his comic-novel Tomcat in Love.

You said after finishing your last novel, In the Lake of the Woods, that you would never write another novel. What changed your mind?

I did not set out to write another novel. One day I sat down with the thought of trying my hand at a piece of nonfiction, a personal memoir of youth, but over the next several weeks, without intending it, the work began evolving into what has become Tomcat in Love. How this occurred I am not entirely sure. At one point, I began inventing bits of dialogue, straying from a strict representation of fact. At another point, after composing maybe fifteen pages, I called my editor to ask if I might exaggerate a few incidents and invent other incidents to strengthen the narrative and to fill in the gaps of a faulty memory. Finally, several weeks later, I surrendered to my own imagination and called my editor to confess that I was at work on a new novel.

The subject matter of this novel is serious: betrayal, the loss of love, revenge, and redemption. How did you manage to write a comic novel about the often painful obsession of love?

Yes, the raw materials of Tomcat in Love are serious in the extreme. And I consider Tomcat a "serious novel"--just as serious, for ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Books by this Author

Books by Tim O'Brien at BookBrowse
Tomcat In Love jacket The Things They Carried jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Tim O'Brien 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

  • Janet Evanovich

    Janet Evanovich

    Janet Evanovich (born Janet Schneider, 1943, in South River, New Jersey) began her career writing short contemporary romance novels under the pen name Steffie Hall, but became a #1 New York Times bestselling author writing a ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Tomcat In Love

    Try:
    Metro Girl
    by Janet Evanovich

  • Mike Lupica

    Mike Lupica

    Mike Lupica is one of the most prominent sports writers in America. His longevity at the top of his field is based on his experience and insider's knowledge, coupled with a provocative presentation that takes an ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Tomcat In Love

    Try:
    Bump and Run
    by Mike Lupica

We recommend 2 similar authors


Non-members can see 2 results. Become a member
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Join & Save $10!

Discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten. One-year membership: $29

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Blue Sky Kingdom
    Blue Sky Kingdom
    by Bruce Kirkby
    Who hasn't dreamed of escaping all of the trappings of today's modern life and finding a secluded, ...
  • Book Jacket: My Heart Underwater
    My Heart Underwater
    by Laurel Fantauzzo
    Corazon — Cory — Tagubio is a Filipina-American teenager living with her family in ...
  • Book Jacket: Black Sun
    Black Sun
    by Rebecca Roanhorse
    Reading the first book in a series is always difficult because readers know that, by definition, it ...
  • Book Jacket: Somewhere in the Unknown World
    Somewhere in the Unknown World
    by Kao Kalia Yang
    Resettled refugees are mostly invisible. Their needs are rarely publicized and their struggles are ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Smallest Lights in the Universe
    by Sara Seager

    A luminous memoir by an MIT astrophysicist who must reinvent herself in the wake of tragedy.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Exiles
by Christina Baker Kline

The author of Orphan Train returns with an ambitious, emotionally resonant historical novel.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win This Book!
Win Jack

Return to Gilead with Jack, the instant New York Times bestseller

Enter to win Marilynne Robinson's latest novel in her classic series.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

I G I O Ear A O T O

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.