“One of the finest observers of human nature writing today” (Glamour), Curtis Sittenfeld is the bestselling author of six novels—Prep, The Man of My Dreams, American Wife, Sisterland, Eligible, Rodham, Romantic Comedy—and one story collection, You Think It, I’ll Say It, which along with Romantic Comedy 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 Rodham, which offers a deeply compelling what-might-have-been: What if Hillary Rodham hadn’t married Bill Clinton? In Sittenfeld’s powerfully imagined tour-de-force, Hillary blazes her own trail—one that raises questions about the trade-offs all of us must make in building a life. Debuting on The New York Times bestseller list, 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.”
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.
Her newest novel is Romantic Comedy, a “smart, sophisticated, and fun” (Oprah Daily) book about the unexpected romance that blossoms between a sketch comedy writer who thinks she’s sworn off love and the dreamily handsome pop star guest host. With her keen observations and trademark ability to bring complex women to life on the page, Sittenfeld explores the neurosis-inducing and heart-fluttering wonder of love, while slyly dissecting the social rituals of romance and gender relations in the modern age.
“Sittenfeld’s work exists in the dissection and comprehension of female desire: what we want, what we absolutely don’t and, maybe paramount, what we’re even allowed to have.”
—The New York Times Book Review
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 four times has been a Jeopardy! answer. A native of Cincinnati, she currently lives with her family in Minneapolis.
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