Inside the Writers House: Matt Ruff
Tuesday, March 07, 2023, 02:00pm - 03:00pm
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Matt Ruff was born in New York City in 1965. He decided he wanted to be a fiction writer when he was five years old and spent his childhood and adolescence learning how to tell stories. At Cornell University he wrote what would become his first published novel, Fool on the Hill, as his senior thesis in Honors English. His professor Alison Lurie helped him find an agent, and within six months of his college graduation Fool on the Hill had been sold to Atlantic Monthly Press. Through a combination of timely foreign rights sales, the generous support of family and friends, occasional grant money, and a slowly accumulating back list, Ruff has managed to make novel-writing his primary occupation ever since.

He is the author of eight novels, including Fool on The Hill,  Bad Monkeys, and the New York Times bestseller Lovecraft Country, which served as the inspiration for the award-winning HBO series.
His third novel, Set This House in Order, marked a critical turning point in his career after it won the James Tiptree, Jr. Award, a Washington State Book Award, and a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award. That helped him secure a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. His fourth novel, Bad Monkeys, also won multiple awards.

In 1998 Ruff married his best friend, the researcher and rare-book expert Lisa Gold. They live in Seattle, Washington.

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