Jane Hamilton biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Jane Hamilton
janehamiltonbooks.com

Jane Hamilton

Jane Hamilton Biography

Jane Hamilton lives, works, and writes in an orchard farmhouse in Rochester, Wisconsin. She is the author of five novels. Her first novel, The Book of Ruth, won the PEN/Ernest Hemingway Award for best first novel and was a selection of the Oprah Book Club. Her second novel, A Map of the World, was also a selection of the Oprah Book Club and became an international bestseller. Her other works include, The Short History of a Prince (1998), Disobedience (2000), When Madeline Was Young (2006), and Laura Rider's Masterpiece (2009).

Jane Hamilton's website

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Interview

Jane Hamilton discusses whether the two devastating incidents at the heart of A Map of the World are based on real events, and she shares which authors have most influenced her.

Are the two devastating incidents at the heart of A Map of the World based on real events?
Both are based on real events. The drowning was the first kernel of the book: I knew a little boy about my son's age who drowned in his family's swimming pool. The death haunted me and I knew it would eventually come through in my writing. I had the first third of the book written for a long time, and I knew Alice was going to get in trouble because of the drowning, but I couldn't see how she was going to make peace with herself. I wrote the equivalent of three novels trying to come up with various solutions--all failures--but I was determined not to leave her forever in her dilemma. In 1990 I came across an article about Kelly Michaels (she was convicted of abusing scores of children at a day care center) and quite soon after that I saw a documentary about a similar situation involving a couple in North Carolina. Both the writer and the filmmaker believed their subjects were innocent and had gotten swept up in a witch hunt. The accused were in a predicament that was so horrifying I resisted writing about it, but I felt keenly that it was something that could happen to any of us. Living as I do--on the outskirts...

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Books by this Author

Books by Jane Hamilton at BookBrowse
The Excellent Lombards jacket Laura Rider's Masterpiece jacket When Madeline Was Young jacket Disobedience jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Jane Hamilton 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

  • Bonnie Jo Campbell

    Bonnie Jo Campbell

    Bonnie Jo Campbell grew up on a small Michigan farm. She left home for the University of Chicago to study philosophy. She has since hitchhiked across the U.S. and Canada, scaled the Swiss alps on her bicycle, and traveled ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Book of Ruth

    Try:
    Once Upon a River
    by Bonnie Jo Campbell

  • Ethan Canin

    Ethan Canin

    Highly regarded as both a novelist and a short story writer, Ethan Canin has ranged in his career from the short stories of Emperor of the Air to the novellas of The Palace Thief, from the short novel Carry Me Across the ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Disobedience

    Try:
    America America
    by Ethan Canin

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Book Discussion
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