Darin Strauss

My training and my inclination is to invent. Memoir was in some ways an easier form (you skip the hard, dreaming-stuff-up work) and in some ways more difficult (Wait, you can’t just dream stuff up?). The novelist has permission to do whatever she chooses to supercharge whatever’s interesting in her story. This is also known as freedom.

NBCC Award

Guggenheim Fellow




What is truly exceptional here is watching a writer of fine fiction (“Chang and Eng” was followed by the novels “The Real McCoy” and “More Than It Hurts You”) probe, directly, carefully and with great humility, the source from which his fiction springs.
— Dani Shapiro
At the center of this elegant, painful, stunningly honest memoir thrums a question fundamental to what it means to be human: What do we do with what we’ve been given?
The New York Times

Darin Strauss is the internationally bestselling author of the novels Chang and Eng, The Real McCoy, and More Than it Hurts You, and most recently a memoir, Half a Life, which O Magazine called, “a remarkable, beyond-brave memoir.” Strauss is the recipient of a National Book Critics Circle Award, a Guggenheim, an American Library Association Award, and numerous other prizes. His books have been named New York Times Notable Books, Entertainment Weekly Must Books of the Year, and Newsweek, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Amazon, Chicago Tribune, and NPR Best Books of the Year, among others.

On noting the challenges of writing fiction versus memoir, Strauss explains, “You have to plum just as deeply in fiction as you do in nonfiction or else it’s just not going to be good.  That’s the thing about writing – you have to be completely honest. People have to recognize something universally true or else they’re going to think they’re reading something that’s, like, a daydream.”

His work has been widely anthologized and excerpted, has been translated into fourteen languages and published in nineteen countries He is a Clinical Associate Professor at NYU's creative writing program, and lives in Brooklyn, NY with his family.



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