“One of the finest observers of human nature writing today” (Glamour), Curtis Sittenfeld is the bestselling author of five novels—Prep, The Man of My Dreams, American Wife, Sisterland, and Eligible—and one story collection, You Think It, I’ll Say It, which was a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick. Celebrated as “a master storyteller” (The Washington Post), she has over 2 million copies of her books in print.
“I love writing (and reading) fiction because it allows me to really imagine the granularity and texture of another person’s feelings, days, habits, opinions, and secrets.… We all know that our own lives are complicated and contradictory. Fiction helps us recognize the complications and contradictions in other people’s lives.”
Sittenfeld’s breakout novel, Prep, set on the campus of an elite boarding school, is an insightful and achingly funny coming-of-age story that the Boston Globe called “as addictive as M&Ms, but also a tart and complex tale of social class, race, and gender politics.” She has continued to write richly about women’s lives: from Man of My Dreams, a disarmingly candid novel about the collision of a young woman’s fantasies of family and love with the challenges and realities of adult life, to Sisterland, a “rich portrait of intricate relationships within and among families” (Kirkus, starred review).
She has also famously tackled ambitious reimaginings of familiar stories. American Wife, a fictionalized account of the life of First Lady Laura Bush was praised by The Guardian as “easily one of the best books written so far this century. It is honest, wonderful and smart as hell.” And in 2016 she took on a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. Equal parts homage to Jane Austen and bold literary experiment, Eligible is a brilliant, playful saga for the twenty-first century.
Sittenfeld took up that challenge of re-imagination again with her latest novel, Rodham, which offers a deeply compelling what-might-have-been: What if Hillary Rodham hadn’t married Bill Clinton? In the real world, Hillary followed Bill back to Arkansas, but in Sittenfeld’s powerfully imagined tour-de-force, she takes a different road. Over the next four decades, she blazes her own trail—one that unfolds in public as well as in private, that involves crossing paths again (and again) with Bill Clinton, that raises questions about the trade-offs all of us must make in building a life. Brilliantly weaving a riveting fictional tale into actual historical events, Sittenfeld delivers an uncannily astute and witty story for our times.
Debuting on The New York Times bestseller list, Rodham was named one of the most anticipated books of 2020 by The New York Times, Haper’s Bazaar and BookPage. “The ultimate what-could-have-been story” (HelloGiggles), Rodham was described by Booklist in their starred review as an “exhilaratingly trenchant, funny, and affecting… Sittenfeld orchestrates a gloriously cathartic antidote to the actual struggles women presidential candidates face in a caustically divided America.” A Hulu adaptation is in development.
Sittenfeld’s beloved novels established her as a sharp chronicler of the modern age who humanizes her subjects even as she skewers them. With You Think It, I’ll Say It, her first book of short fiction, Sittenfeld’s “astonishing gift for creating characters that take up residence in readers’ heads” (Washington Post) is showcased like never before as she upends assumptions about class, relationships, and gender roles in a nation that feels both adrift and viscerally divided.
“Sittenfeld is a clear thinker, a canny observer, and a solid, graceful stylist.”
—The Washington Post Book World
Sittenfeld’s books have been selected by The New York Times, Time, Entertainment Weekly, and People for their “Ten Best Books of the Year” lists, optioned for television and film, and translated into thirty languages. Her short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Washington Post, and Esquire, and she is a past contributor to and the 2020 guest editor of the Best American Short Stories anthology. Her non-fiction has appeared in The New York Times, Time, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, Slate, and on This American Life.
A graduate of Stanford University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Curtis has interviewed Michelle Obama for Time; appeared as a guest on NPR’s Fresh Air, CBS’s Early Show, and PBS’s Newshour; and twice been a strangely easy Jeopardy! answer. A native of Cincinnati, she currently lives with her family in Minneapolis.here.