Saturday, February 4, 2012

Author Birthday: Stewart O'Nan


From today's Writer's Almanac:
It's the birthday of writer Stewart O'Nan (books by this author), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (1961). He worked for years as an aerospace engineer, and when he came home from his work every day he would go down to his basement and write. In 1994, he published his first novel, Snow Angels, about a murder in a small town in western Pennsylvania. He often writes about characters who feel trapped by their circumstances and end up doing horrible things. He said, "My own life isn't terribly interesting, even to myself, and that ... [is] why I write about people and places so different from the ones I know."
Stewart O'Nan's latest novel, The Odds, was every bit as good as I had expected. If I'd known today was his birthday, I would have finished the review in time to post. Instead, let me say that O'Nan was my favorite author discovery of 2011 and link to my thoughts on a few of his books.


Have you read Stewart O'Nan yet?

11 comments:

  1. I really need to read some Stewart O'Nan ... especially because he's a Pittsburgh author!

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  2. You know I have, and share your love. Can't wait to read The Odds.

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  3. I also read a few of his earlier book in addition to these you mentioned. He is a solid author, and all of what I've read by him has been enjoyable.

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  4. Melissa - I'm all for supporting local authors - you can't lose with O'Nan!

    Amy - You're in for a treat with The Odds!

    Diane - I'm going to read some of his earlier work later this year. Would also like to read his nonfiction title, The Circus Fire, soon.

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  5. Not yet, but thanks to you I have The Odds and I will probably start with that one and read the rest!!

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  6. Well, Happy Birthday Stewart O'Nan and thanks for writing such interesting stories. Sorry I'm a couple of days late, but I'm sending good wishes just the same. I know this isn't Stewart O"Nan's website but in my mind JoAnn = Stewart O"Nan since she introduced us.

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  7. Staci - The Odds had all the emotional understanding I've come to expect from O'Nan. Can't wait to hear what you thing!

    Margot - You are so funny... glad to take credit for introducing you to such a wonderful writer though!

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  8. So interesting that description - 'end up doing horrible things.' So very different from my only fictional experience with him, Emily, Alone. I wonder if his books have changed as the years have gone on.

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  9. Nan - I think some of his earlier books are a little darker, so his style may very well have changed over the years. Not sure whether the nonfiction title you recently reviewed or The Good Wife will be next for me.

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  10. JoAnn, I just could not read it. I read a few chapters and found it SO depressing. I didn't like either of those people one bit, and didn't want to spend any time in their company. I wonder how I'll feel about his other stuff. Even if I don't like one other thing he's written, I loved Emily, Alone so much and that's good enough for me.

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  11. Nan - I can certainly understand your feelings about this couple -not likable people at all, and definitely not a cheery book. I liked O'Nan's description of Niagara Falls & thought he captured it all quite well (except I can't really judge the casino part). I'm glad I read it, but am afraid if this was my first O'Nan book, I might not be very anxious to read more. Must finish my review this week... your comment is just the push I need. Thanks.

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. These conversations are my favorite part of blogging. Please check back, I almost always respond to comments!

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