Novelist │ Memoirist │ Essayist
A.M. Homes is that rare writer whose work successfully elides the distinction between high art and pop culture. In incendiary and brilliantly crafted fiction, Homes shocks and sometimes disgusts, but never fails to entertain as she tears down the façade of suburban normality to reveal the darkness within.
In her impressionistic art criticism, Homes has brought levity and creativity to a hidebound genre. And her inspiring lectures on creativity have spurred other writers and artists to abandon fear and mediocrity and take real risks in their work. Iconoclastic, daring, fiercely real—A.M. Homes is one of the most provocative literary voices today.
From her first novel, Jack
, written when she was 19, about a boy coming to terms with his father’s homosexuality, A.M. Homes has shown herself to be utterly fearless in tackling subjects that range from controversial to stomach-turning. The End of Alice
elicited praise for its unflinching portrayal of an imprisoned pedophile. In the words of Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Cunningham, it established Homes as “one of the bravest, most terrifying writers working today. She never plays it safe, and it begins to look as if she can do almost anything.”
Whether in the new-age luxury of contemporary Los Angeles in This Book Will Save Your Life
, the white-picket fence uniformity of suburban New York in Music for Torching
, or the overstuffed therapist’s chair in In A Country of Mothers
, Homes’ novels offer an incisive look at who we are behind closed doors. When it comes to this kind of scrutiny, Homes does not spare herself.
Her memoir, The Mistress’s Daughter
, was ten years in the making. It delves not just into her own experiences as an adopted child who meets her birth parents for the first time at the age of thirty, but into the overwhelmingly complex issues of identity, genetics and heritage that face every adoptee. With the same unstinting boldness that characterizes Homes’ novels and short stories, The Mistress’s Daughter
challenges the ways in which we discuss adoption and identity in the age of DNA. It is “as remarkable for its crystalline prose, flinty wit, and agile candor as for its arresting revelations…Homes masterfully distills angst and discovery into a riveting tale of nature and nurture that encompasses America’s great patchwork of immigrants and secrets” (Booklist
Always concerned with the complications that lie right below a manicured surface, Homes returns to the suburbs for her latest novel, May We Be Forgiven
. It is an unnerving, funny tale of unexpected intimacies and of how one deeply fractured family might begin to put itself back together. The novel is the winner of the 2013 Women's Prize for Fiction (previously the Orange Prize). One of the most prestigious literary awards in the world, the prize celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in women's writing from throughout the world.
“I can’t remember when I last read a novel of such narrative intensity; an unflinching account of a catastrophic, violent, black-comic, transformative year in the history of one broken American family. A brilliant book.”
Homes is also the author of two collections of short stories. Her writings appear frequently in ArtForum
, The New Yorker
, The New York Times
. She is a Contributing Editor to Vanity Fair
and Blind Spot
. In addition, she has worked as a collaborator with artists such as Eric Fischl, Rachel Whiteread, Carroll Dunham, Catherine Opie, Bill Owens, Ghada Amer, and Ken Probst.
Interested in projects that extend beyond literary fiction and fine art criticism, Homes wrote the screen adaptation of her novel, Jack
, for Showtime and has worked as a writer/producer on the hit television show The L Word
. For the last few years she has been developing television pilots for HBO and CBS.
A.M. Homes’ work has been translated into twenty-two languages, and she has received awards and fellowships from numerous institutions, including the NEA, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis. She has taught workshops in fiction, life writing and creativity at Princeton, Columbia University, NYU, and The New School. Born in Washington, D.C., she lives in New York City. Selected Writings
- May We Be Forgiven (Viking/Penguin, 2012)
- The Mistress’s Daughter (Viking/Penguin, 2007)
- This Book Will Save Your Life (Viking/Penguin, 2006)
- Things You Should Know: A Collection of Stories (HarperCollins, 2002)
- Music for Torching (Morrow, 1999)
- The End of Alice (Scribner, 1996)
- In a Country of Mothers (Knopf, 1993)
- The Safety of Objects (Norton, 1990)
- Jack (Macmillan, 1989)
2013 Women's Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange Prize), May We Be Forgiven
1998 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship
1998 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship