“As much as I love writing (the verb), I probably love writing (the noun) even more. I doubt anyone becomes a serious novelist who doesn’t love reading: savoring paragraphs that precisely capture longing or dread or desire. Being riveted by a plot twist that is utterly surprising but, you realize, perfect, because it was inevitable.”
Critically acclaimed novelist Chris Bohjalian uses his gripping fiction to explore contemporary social issues and how they play out in the lives of ordinary people. His writing delves into such topics as adoption, gender identity, genocide, adultery, animal rights, homelessness, domestic violence, and human trafficking with equal facility. He is the author of 20 books, most of which have been New York Times bestsellers, and his work has been translated into over 30 languages.
Midwives, an Oprah’s Book Club selection and a #1 New York Times bestseller, is a contemporary classic whose central questions of individual and societal responsibility remain just as pressing today as when the book was first published 20 years ago. Among Bohjalian’s many standout titles since then have been the New York Times bestsellers The Guest Room, The Sleepwalker, and The Sandcastle Girls, in which Bohjalian tackles the weighty topic of the Armenian genocide in an “intricately nuanced romance” that Julie Kane of Library Journal called “simply astounding.”
Bohjalian, bless his heart, never writes the same book twice. From the rural Vermont–set Midwives to the historical The Sandcastle Girls to the close-at-hand dystopia of Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands, he charts crucial moments in different settings and with different sensibilities.
Bohjalian’s most recent novel, The Flight Attendant, came out in 2018 to rave reviews. In this “expertly turned thriller” (USA Today), a flight attendant wakes up in the wrong hotel, in the wrong bed, next to a dead man—with no idea what happened. Maureen Corrigan, writing in The Washington Post, said, “Filled with turbulence and sudden plunges in altitude, The Flight Attendant is a very rare thriller whose penultimate chapter made me think to myself, ‘I didn’t see that coming.'”
Bohjalian’s masterful plotting evokes a magician who distracts his audience to look this way, not that way… Fans of Bohjalian know to expect the unexpected and, thanks to his creativity and cunning, readers usually get walloped by one heck of a plot twist by book’s end.
The Orphan Strain, Bohjalian’s forthcoming novel, is the story of a Manhattan ER doctor whose boyfriend goes missing during a bicycling tour in Vietnam, forcing her to confront the fact that much of what she knew about him was a lie.
Bohjalian’s books have been chosen as Best Books of the Year by The Washington Post, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The Hartford Courant, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Kirkus, Bookpage, and Salon. Bohjalian has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, Reader’s Digest, and The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine. He was a weekly columnist in Vermont for The Burlington Free Press from 1992 to 2015.
His awards include the New England Book Award, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Freedom Award for his work educating Americans about the Armenian Genocide, the ANCA Arts and Letters Award for The Sandcastle Girls, and other honors. He is a Fellow of the Vermont Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Bohjalian graduated from Amherst College and lives in Vermont with his wife, the photographer Victoria Blewer.
For more information about Chris Bohjalian, please visit chrisbohjalian.com.