Matthew Pearl biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Matthew Pearl
Photo: Sigrid Estrada

Matthew Pearl

Matthew Pearl Biography

Matthew Pearl is the author of the novels The Dante Club, The Poe Shadow, The Last Dickens, and The Technologists. His books have been New York Times bestsellers and international bestsellers translated into more than 30 languages. His nonfiction writing has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe and Slate.com. He has been heard on shows including NPR's All Things Considered and Weekend Edition Sunday.

Matthew Pearl grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and is a graduate of Harvard University and Yale Law School. He has also taught literature and creative writing at Harvard University and Emerson College, and has been a Visiting Lecturer in law and literature at Harvard Law School. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

From the author's website

Matthew Pearl's website

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Interview

In the first of two interviews, Matthew Pearl explains his fascination with the 19th century and how he came to write The Technologists; in the second, he talks about his interest in Dante, and his first mystery/novel, The Dante Club, which blends fact and fiction into a captivating thriller that will surprise readers from beginning to end.

The Technologists is a thriller revolving around the very first class at M.I.T. It is my fourth novel and my third set in Boston of the nineteenth century. I'm sometimes asked what it is about that time and place that appeals to me. I might need some psychoanalysis to answer. Like many other things in the creative process, I was drawn to the setting as much by accident and instinct as by a deliberate process. The first story I conceived as a novel, which would become The Dante Club, brought me to 1865 through historical fact - that was the year that Henry Wadsworth Longfellow gathered some friends together to help him finish his groundbreaking translation of Dante's Divine Comedy, and that was the subject matter I wanted to pair with a mysterious story.

Though I came to it by chance, I found I enjoyed writing and researching about the nineteenth century. The more I immersed myself in it, the more I wrote in it, leading into more novels.

Though I had not planned to become such a long-running tourist to the nineteenth century, I recognize some specific elements that keep me there. I've always been fascinated by origins. What it was like to be the first at something. In The Technologists, the first students at M.I.T. were ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Matthew Pearl at BookBrowse
The Dante Chamber jacket The Last Bookaneer jacket The Technologists jacket The Last Dickens jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Matthew Pearl 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

  • Peter Ackroyd

    Peter Ackroyd

    Novelist, biographer, and poet Peter Ackroyd was born in London on October 5, 1949.

    He graduated from Clare College, Cambridge, and studied at Yale University as a Mellon Fellow, where he completed Notes for a New Culture: ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Dante Club

    Try:
    The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein
    by Peter Ackroyd

  • Ian Caldwell

    Ian Caldwell

    Ian Caldwell attended Princeton University, where he studied history. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1998. He began writing The Rule of Four with his best friend, Dustin Thomason, after graduation. His second book, The Fifth ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Poe Shadow

    Try:
    The Rule of Four
    by Ian Caldwell

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