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Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

(2013 selection)

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About the Author

Jess Walter published his first book, Every Knee Shall Bow, in 1995. Called “a stunning job of reporting” by The New York Times, the book was a finalist for the 1996 PEN USA literary nonfiction award. It was rereleased in 2002 with the new title, Ruby Ridge.

Walter’s fiction career began in 2001 with the publication of his first novel, Over Tumbled Graves, which was named a 2001 New York Times notable book.  Walter’s second novel, Land of the Blind, was published in 2003, and his next book, Citizen Vince, won the 2005 Edgar Allan Poe Award for best novel.  


Walter’s fourth novel, The Zero , was a finalist for the 2006 National Book Award, the 2007 PEN Center Literary Award and the 2007 LA Times Book Prize and also won the 2007 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award.  The Financial Lives of the Poets, Walter’s fifth novel, was a national bestseller and Time Magazine's #2 “Best Book of the Year.” Beautiful Ruins is Walter’s sixth novel and a New York Times bestseller. His first collection of short stories, We Live in Water, was published in February 2013.


Walter’s work has been translated into more than 20 languages, and his essays, short fiction, criticism and journalism have appeared in numerous publications. His published stories include: “The Wolf and the Wild” in McSweeney's 41 (July 2012); “Love Song #79,” a 79-word short story in Esquire (June/July 2012); “Big Man,” one of three stories in You and Me and The Devil Makes Three, Esquire’s short story ebook series, “Fiction for Men” (June 2012); and “Thief” in Harper’s (March 2012).  Walter’s story, “Don’t Eat Cat,” originally published in Byliner (March 2012), was selected for Best American Nonrequired Reading 2012, and his story, “Anything Helps,” which originally appeared in McSweeney’s 39 (December 2011) was selected for inclusion in Best American Short Stories 2012.  Walter’s story, "Wheelbarrow Kings," appeared in the anthology The Speed Chronicles (December 2011) alongside stories by Megan Abbott, Sherman Alexie, William Vollman, James Franco, Jerry Stahl, and many others, and “Bleacher Couch Man” was published in ESPN The Magazine’s first ever Fiction Issue (March 2011).


Walter lives with his wife Anne and his children, Brooklyn, Ava, and Alec in his childhood home of Spokane, Washington.

Jess Walter’s website
Jess Walter’s Twitter Feed

Jess Walter and Beautiful Ruins

Author Magazine: An Interview with Jess Walter  (video)
Authors on Tour: Jess Walter Podcasts Beautiful Ruins   (audio)
Harper Audio: Jess Walter Discusses His Writing of Beautiful Ruins (audio)
Here & Now: ‘Beautiful Ruins:’ Tales of Old And New Hollywood  (audio)
Interview Magazine: Jess Walter's Fame Monsters
KBOO: Between the Covers:  Jess Walter on his new novel, "Beautiful Ruins" (audio)
Kenyon Review: A brief Interview with Jess Walter
Los Angeles Times: 'Beautiful Ruins' isn't Typical Hollywood Novel, Author Says
Miami Herald: A Long Road, But Jess Walter Made His ‘Ruins’ Beautiful
Pen on Fire: Jess Walter, Author of “Beautiful Ruins,” on Writers on Writing (audio)
Salon.com: Jess Walter: Write What You Want to Read
Spark: the Online Magazine of Humanities Washington

More on Jess Walter/Other Interviews with Jess Walter

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett: Jess Walter talks about his new collection of stories on Writers on Writing
Harper Collins: A Conversation With JessWalter
The Nervous Breakdown: An Interview with Jess Walter
Oregonlive.com: Jess Walter's Journey from Ruby Ridge to Financial Poetry
Publishers Weekly Talks With Jess Walter
Spokesman.com: Jess Walter eager to release collection of short stories
Willow Springs: A Conversation with Jess Walter

 

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