AUTHOR | Lily king
“A master psychological portraitist” (Publishers Weekly), novelist Lily King brings her deft and graceful characterization to stories that illuminate the inner workings of life’s most complicated relationships. Since the publication of her debut novel, The Pleasing Hour, which won the Barnes & Noble Discover Award and was a New York Times Notable Book and an alternate for the PEN/Hemingway Award, she has been praised for her unsentimental style and piercing insight.
A mix of prizes and plaudits has been a constant in her career, starting with her earliest works. Her debut The Pleasing Hour is a coming-of-age story centered on an American au pair in Europe whose coming-of-age defies usual conceptions of naïveté and experience. GraceAnne A. DeCandido wrote in Booklist that “with longing and sweetness, this subtle and gorgeously crafted novel takes us into a tangle of family affections.” In her second novel, The English Teacher, King returns to the complexities of family life. Following the story of a mother and son’s vital bond, the book raises questions about notions of intimacy, honesty, loyalty, family, and the real meaning of home. The English Teacher was a Publishers Weekly Top Ten Book of the Year, a Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year, and the winner of the Maine Fiction Award.
A New York Times Editor’s Choice, Father of the Rain spans three decades in a riveting psychological portrait of a wildly charismatic patriarch as seen through the eyes of his daughter. A family drama set in an upper-middle-class East Coast suburb, Father of the Rain was a Publishers Weekly Best Novel of the Year and winner of the 2010 New England Book Award for Fiction and the Maine Fiction Award. Vanity Fair praised Father of the Rain as “spellbinding . . . King brilliantly captures the gravitational pull of the past and the way it can eclipse the promise of the present.”
King grew up in Massachusetts and received her BA in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her MA in Creative Writing from Syracuse University. She has taught English and Creative Writing at universities and high schools in the US and abroad. She is the recipient of a MacDowell Fellowship and a Whiting Writer’s Award. Her short fiction, essays, and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Vogue, The Los Angeles Review of Books, One Story, The Harvard Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, and several anthologies. Her novels have been published in 20 languages. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Portland, Maine.
King’s latest novel is the New York Times bestselling Writers & Lovers, an unforgettable portrait of the artist as a young woman that is “winning…infused with heart and soul and wit and wisdom” (NPR). Blindsided by her mother’s sudden death and wrecked by a recent love affair, Casey Peabody is thirty-one in the summer of 1997 and still clutching on to something nearly all her old friends have let go of: the determination to live a creative life as a novelist. When she falls for two very different men at the same time, Casey’s drive to fulfill her creative ambitions and balance the conflicting demands of art and life is challenged in ways that push her to the brink.
“Wonderful, witty, heartfelt,” said The Washington Post, “a funny novel about grief, and, worse, it’s dangerously romantic, bold enough and fearless enough to imagine the possibility of unbounded happiness.” Writers & Lovers was named a Most Anticipated Book and spotlighted by over a dozen publications, including Entertainment Weekly, Vulture, Lit Hub, People, Vogue, and Marie Claire. Hitting The New York Times bestsellers list just a week after publication, Writers & Lovers was a pick for both The New York Times Book Review’s Group Text and Jenna Bush Hager’s Read With Jenna book club.