Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Audrey Niffenegger  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Children;

Born: 1963 in South Haven, Michigan

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Illinois Connection

Niffenegger's family moved to Evanston, Illinois when she was very young. She attended the Art Institute of Chicago and Northwestern University. She teaches at Columbia College and has also taught for the Newberry Library, Penland School of Craft and other institutions of higher learning. Niffenegger continues to resides in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Niffenegger is a visual artist and writer. She was trained as a visual artist at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and received her MFA from Northwestern University’s Department of Art Theory and Practice. Niffenegger has been making books by hand since the early 1980s. She has exhibited her artist’s books, prints, paintings, drawings and comics at Printworks Gallery in Chicago since 1987.Niffenegger is a professor in the Interdisciplinary Book Arts MFA Program at the Columbia College Chicago Centre for Book and Paper Arts. She currently teaches writing courses that specialize in text-image relationships. She has also taught for the Newberry Library, Penland School of Craft and other institutions of higher learning. In addition to her international bestselling debut novel, ''The Time Traveler's Wife'', Niffenegger is the author of two illustrated novels, ''The Three Incestuous Sisters'' and ''The Adventuress''; which were books she had originally printed and bound by hand.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

The Time Traveler's Wife
ISBN: 0224071912

Jonathan Cape. 2004

This is the extraordinary love story of Clare and Henry who met when Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-two and Henry thirty. Impossible but true, because Henry suffers from a rare condition where his genetic clock periodically resets and he finds himself pulled suddenly into his past or future. In the face of this force they can neither prevent nor control, Henry and Clare's struggle to lead normal lives is both intensely moving and entirely unforgettable.

The Three Incestuous Sisters: An Illustrated Novel
ISBN: 0810959275

Harry N. Abrams. 2005

The Three Incestuous Sisters is an evocative, illustrated book by the best-selling author of The Time Traveler's Wife, Audrey Niffenegger. Reminiscent of the gothic style of Edward Gorey, Niffenegger's visually stunning narrative affirms her genius as a storyteller. These rich pages present the tale of three very different sisters: one who is beautiful, one who is smart, and one who is talented. A melodrama of sibling rivalry unfurls as one sister is driven mad with jealousy due to the passionate love affair of another. Escalating to a dizzying climax, the romance of the two lovers ends in sabotage, shame, and despair. Haunting illustrations and lyrical prose depict a timeless tale of love, revenge, and ultimately, transcendence.

The Three Incestuous Sisters is a unique and lavish tour de force, which showcases Audrey Niffenegger's incredible talent as an artist and a writer.

The Adventuress
ISBN: 081097052X

Harry N. Abrams. 2006

The author of the New York Times bestseller The Time Traveler’s Wife returns with another evocative “novel in pictures,” the much-anticipated follow-up to 2005’s The Three Incestuous Sisters. The Adventuress follows the dreamlike journey of an alchemist’s daughter. After she is kidnapped by a lascivious baron, she turns herself into a moth and flees to the garden of a charming butterfly collector named Napoleon Bonaparte. The story of how the two become lovers, and how their affair ends in tragedy and transcendence, is told through Niffenegger’s spare prose and haunting aquatint etchings. With a stunning and distinctive visual style reminiscent of the work of Edward Gorey, this gothic romance packs the emotional heft of the world’s great fairy tales. It will delight fans of the author’s previous works and enchant an entirely new legion of readers.

Her Fearful Symmetry: A Novel
ISBN: 1439165394

Scribner. 2009

Six years after the phenomenal success of The Time Traveler's Wife, Audrey Niffenegger has returned with a spectacularly compelling and haunting second novel set in and around Highgate Cemetery in London.

When Elspeth Noblin dies of cancer, she leaves her London apartment to her twin nieces, Julia and Valentina. These two American girls never met their English aunt, only knew that their mother, too, was a twin, and Elspeth her sister. Julia and Valentina are semi-normal American teenagers--with seemingly little interest in college, finding jobs, or anything outside their cozy home in the suburbs of Chicago, and with an abnormally intense attachment to one another.

The girls move to Elspeth's flat, which borders Highgate Cemetery in London. They come to know the building's other residents. There is Martin, a brilliant and charming crossword puzzle setter suffering from crippling Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Marjike, Martin's devoted but trapped wife and Robert, Elspeth's elusive lover, a scholar of the cemetery. As the girls become embroiled in the fraying lives of their aunt's neighbors, they also discover that much is still alive in Highgate, including--perhaps--their aunt, who can't seem to leave her old apartment and life behind.

Niffenegger weaves a captivating story in Her Fearful Symmetry about love and identity, about secrets and sisterhood, and about the tenacity of life--even after death.

The Night Bookmobile
ISBN: 0810996170

Harry N. Abrams. 2010

Audrey Niffenegger, the New York Times bestselling author of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry, has crafted her first graphic novel after the success of her two critically acclaimed “novels-in-pictures.” First serialized as a weekly column in the UK’s Guardian newspaper, The Night Bookmobile tells the story of a wistful woman who one night encounters a mysterious disappearing library on wheels that contains every book she has ever read. Seeing her history and most intimate self in this library, she embarks on a search for the bookmobile. But her search turns into an obsession, as she longs to be reunited with her own collection and memories.

The Night Bookmobile is a haunting tale of both transcendence and the passion for books, and features the evocative full-color pen-and-ink work of one of the world’s most beloved storytellers.



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