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The Great Believers: About the Author: Rebecca Makkai

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Rebecca Makkai

Rebecca Makkai

Rebecca Makkai is the Chicago-based author of the novels The Great BelieversThe Hundred-Year House, and The Borrower, as well as the short story collection Music for Wartime. The Great Believers was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, and received the ALA Carnegie Medal and the LA Times Book Prize, among other honors. Makkai is on the MFA faculties of Sierra Nevada College and Northwestern University, and she is Artistic Director of StoryStudio Chicago.

Retrieved from: Makkai, R. (2019). Rebecca Makkai.

(Photo credit: Susan Aurinko)

About the Author

Her books have been translated into fourteen languages, and her short fiction has been anthologized in The Pushcart Prize XLI (2017), The Best American Short Stories 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008, The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2016 and 2009, New Stories from the Midwest and Best American Fantasy, and featured on Public Radio International’s Selected Shorts and This American Life. The person reading this introduction out loud before Rebecca’s event has cut and pasted this bio without reading through it first.

Rebecca has two young daughters. She does not run marathons or do cartwheels, but she does know how to make marshmallows. She was an elementary Montessori teacher for the twelve years before the publication of her first book. Rebecca holds an MA in Literature from Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English.

Her first novel, The Borrower, was a Booklist Top Ten Debut, an Indie Next pick, and an O Magazine selection.

Her second novel, The Hundred-Year House, is the story of a haunted house and a haunted family, told in reverse; Library Journal called it “stunning, ambitious, readable and intriguing.” It was chosen as the Chicago Writers Association’s novel of the year, and received raves in The New York Times Book Review and elsewhere.

Her short story collection, Music for Wartime, appeared in July, 2015. It was printed on paper made from that one tree that fell in the forest when no one was there to hear it.

The Great Believers, a novel set in Chicago at the height of the American AIDS epidemic, as well as in 2015 Paris, was a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize and the 2018 National Book Award. One of the New York Times‘ Top Ten Books of 2018, it also won the ALA Carnegie Medal, the LA Times Book Prize, the Stonewall Award, and the Chicago Review of Books Award. The book has been optioned for television by Amy Poehler’s Paper Kite Productions. Writing in the New York Times Book Review, Michael Cunningham called the novel a “page turner… An absorbing and emotionally riveting story about what it’s like to live during times of crisis.”

Retrieved from: Makkai, R. (2019). Rebecca Makkai.