• Where—Stanford, California, USA
• Education—B.A., Yale University; M.F.A., University of Iowa
• Awards—James Michener Award, National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship
• Currently—lives in Northern California
Ann Packer is an American novelist and short story writer, perhaps best known for her critically acclaimed first novel The Dive From Clausen's Pier. She is the recipient of a James Michener Award and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship.
Packer was born in Stanford, California. She is the daughter of Stanford University professors Herbert Packer and Nancy (Huddleston) Packer.
Her mother was a student of novelist Wallace Stegner at the Stanford Writing Program; she later joined the Stanford faculty as professor of English and creative writing. Ann's father was on the faculty of Stanford Law School, where he highlighted the tensions between Due Process and Crime Control. In 1969, when Ann was 10 years old, he suffered a stroke that paralyzed the right side of his body. He committed suicide three years later. Her brother, George Packer, is a novelist, journalist, and playwright.
Packer currently lives in Northern California with her two children.
Packer was an English major at Yale University, but only began writing fiction during her senior year. She moved to New York after college and took a job writing paperback cover copy at Ballantine Books. She attended the Iowa Writers' Workshop from 1986 to 1988, selling her first short story to The New Yorker a few weeks before receiving her M.F.A. degree.
In 1988 Packer moved to Madison, Wisconsin as a fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. During her two years in Wisconsin she published stories in literary magazines, including the story "Babies," which was included in the 1992 O. Henry Award prize stories collection. The New Yorker story, "Mendocino," became the title story of her first book, Mendocino and Other Stories, published by Chronicle Books in 1994.
Packer spent almost 10 years writing The Dive From Clausen's Pier. Geri Thoma of the Elaine Markson Agency agreed to take on the book and sold it almost immediately to the editor Jordan Pavlin at Alfred A. Knopf. It was published in 2002 and became the first selection of the Good Morning America "Read This!" Book Club. It also received a Great Lakes Book Award, an American Library Association Award, and the Kate Chopin Literary Award. The novel was adapted into a 2005 cable television film.
Packer’s next two books were also published by Knopf: a novel, Songs Without Words (2007), and a collection of short fiction, Swim Back to Me (2011). "Things Said or Done," one of the stories in Swim Back to Me, was included in the 2012 O. Henry Award prize stories collection. In 2015 another novel, The Children's Crusade, was published by Scribner.
In addition to fiction, Packer has written essays for the Washington Post, Vogue, Real Simple, and Oprah Magazine. (From Wikipedia. Retrieved 4/13/2015.)
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