Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Amy Hassinger  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: 1972 in Frederick, Maryland

-- Website --
-- Amy Hassinger on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Hassinger lives in Urbana, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Hassinger graduated from Barnard College and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she received her MFA in fiction writing. She is the author of two novels. Deemed "superb" by O, the Oprah Magazine and "truly penetrating" by - ''Nina: Adolescence'' and ''The Priest's Madonna''.''Nina: Adolescence'' has been translated into Dutch and Portuguese, won a Publisher's Weekly Listen Up! Award and was selected as an Audio Book of the Year by ForeWord Magazine. In a starred review, Library Journal says ''The Priest's Madonna'' is "a rich fabric of love, mystery, anguish, and faith" while Marie Claire magazine calls it "a provocative page-turner." Houses in Spain, The Netherlands, Russia, and Indonesia have purchased the translation rights.Hassinger received a 2006 Finalist Award in Prose from the Illinois Arts Council and was named a semi-finalist for the 2005 Julia Peterkin Award. Her stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Arts and Letters, Salt Hill, Natural Bridge, and Blithe House Quarterly Online, and have been anthologized in Best Lesbian Love Stories. She is also the author of ''Finding Katahdin: An Exploration of Maine's Past''. She's taught English to middle school students, writing and literature to undergraduates, and is currently on the faculty of the University of Nebraska's Low-Residency MFA in Writing Program. She lives in Urbana, Illinois with her husband and daughter.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Finding Katahdin: An exploration of Maine's past
ISBN: 0891011013

University of Maine Press. 2001

This concise volume will benefit any reader who wants to learn about Maine's unique heritage. Used as a textbook for Maine Studies classes in many schools, Finding Katahdin: An Exploration of Maine's Past presents an articulate, thoughtful understanding of Maine history in a way that engages students and introduces them to the discipline of historical research and scholarship. Finding Katahdin explores Maine in its various incarnations: as a land of prehistoric hunters and gatherers

a frontier where English, French, and Wabanaki cultures mix and clash

a mecca for a shifting mosaic of loggers, fishermen, farmers, shipbuilders, artists, tourists, and others. Brilliantly written by Amy Hassinger, the narrative is exciting and varied, with sections of dialogue, excerpts from primary source documents, short biographies, and other devices that illuminate the history. The design of the text is graceful and straightforward, augmented with many illustrations of paintings, photographs, maps, and document reproductions.

Nina: Adolescence
ISBN: 0399150625

Putnam Adult. 2003

Still struggling with her toddler brother's death years earlier, fifteen-year-old Nina becomes the subject in a series of nude paintings by her haunted mother and is forced to deal with her burgeoning sexuality in front of a large and critical audience when the paintings go public. A first novel. 15,000 first printing.

The Priest's Madonna
ISBN: 0399153179

Putnam Adult. 2006

Inspired by the story of a southern French holy man who inexplicably came into wealth in 1896, the tale of Marie Dernanaud, a housekeeper who is rumored to be her priest employer's lover, recounts her struggles with faith and her knowledge about the secret source of his wealth. 25,000 first printing.


Semi-finalist for the 2005 Julia Peterkin Award; Publisher's Weekly 2003 Listen Up! award

Availability for Public Speaking

Speaking Engagement Availability: (Yes)