Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Elizabeth Berg  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1948 in St. Paul, Minnesota


-- Facebook -- https://www.facebook.com/bergbooks/
-- Website -- http://www.elizabeth-berg.net/
-- Elizabeth Berg on WorldCat -- http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=elizabeth+berg


Illinois Connection

Berg lives in Oak Park.

Biographical and Professional Information

Elizabeth Berg is the author of many bestselling novels as well as two works of nonfiction. She studied English at the University of Minnesota, and later ended up as a nurse. Her debut novel was published in 1993, and today she is a bestselling author. Her three novels ''Durable Goods'', ''Joy School'', and ''True to Form'' are a trilogy about the 12-year-old Katie Nash and are, in part, based on Berg's own experience as a daughter born into a military family.Berg has received several literary awards and nominations. Her writing has been translated into 27 languages and three of her novels have been turned into television movies. She is the founder of ''Writing Matters'', a quality reading series dedicated to serving author, audience, and community. She teaches one-day writing workshops and is a popular speaker at venues around the country.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Family Traditions: Celebrations for Holidays and Everyday
ISBN: 0895774569

Readers Digest. 1997

Presents a wide range of activities, traditions, ideas, and rituals that are designed to encourage families to share quality time together, including suggestions for the major holidays, seasonal celebrations, everyday customs, and more. 20,000 first printing.

Durable Goods: A Novel (Katie Nash)
ISBN: 081296814X

Ballantine Books. 2003

On the hot Texas army base she calls home, Katie spends the lazy days of her summer waiting: waiting to grow up waiting for Dickie Mack to fall in love with her waiting for her breasts to blossom waiting for the beatings to stop. Since their mother died, Katie and her older sister, Diane, have struggled to understand their increasingly distant, often violent father. While Diane escapes into the arms of her boyfriend, Katie hides in her room or escapes to her best friend’s house—until Katie’s admiration for her strong-willed sister leads her on an adventure that transforms her life.

Written with an unerring ability to capture the sadness of growth, the pain of change, the nearly visible vibrations that connect people, this beautiful novel by the bestselling author of Open House reminds us how wonderful—and wounding—a deeper understanding of life can be.

Talk Before Sleep: A Novel
ISBN: 0345491254

Ballantine Books. 2006

"Until that moment, I hadn't realized how much I'd been needing to meet someone I might be able to say everything to."

They met at a party. It was hate at first sight. Ruth was far too beautiful, too flamboyant. Not at all Ann's kind of person. Until a chance encounter in the bathroom led to an alliance of souls. Soon they were sharing hankies during the late showing of "Sophie's Choice," wolfing down sundaes sodden with whipped cream, telling truths of marriage, mortality, and love, secure in a kind of intimacy no man could ever know. Only best friends understand devil's food cake for breakfast when nothing else will do. After years of shared secrets, guilty pleasures, family life and divorce, they face a crisis that redefines the meaning of friendship and unconditional love.


From the Paperback edition.

Range of Motion: A Novel
ISBN: 042516876X

Berkley. 2000

From the New York Times bestselling author of Talk Before Sleep and What We Keep comes "the love story of the year" (Detroit Free Press). A woman waiting for her husband to awake from a coma discovers the meaning of love, friendship, and faith.

The Pull of the Moon
ISBN: 0425176487

Berkley Books. 2000

"Not a novel about a woman leaving home, but . . . a human being finding her way back." —Chicago Tribune

"Turning 50 seems to turn women crazy. When Nan hits this mark, she hits the road, leaving behind her home and husband. Driving west from Boston, she consults only her own pleasure. And while this sounds easy, it is often arduous for Nan, who can hardly remember what her own pleasure is . . . The Pull of the Moon is upbeat from beginning to end." —Boston Sunday Globe

"Measured, delicate, and impossible to walk away from." —Entertainment Weekly

Joy School (Katie Nash)
ISBN: 0345423097

Ballantine Books. 1998

In this exquisite new novel by bestselling writer Elizabeth Berg, a young woman falls in love -- and learns how sorrow can lead to an understanding of joy.

Katie, the narrator, has relocated to Missouri with her distant, occasionally abusive father, and she feels very much alone: her much-loved mother is dead her new school is unaccepting of her and her only friends fall far short of being ideal companions. When she accidentally falls through the ice while skating, she meets Jimmy. He is handsome, far older than she, and married, but she is entranced. As their relationship unfolds, so too does Katie's awareness of the pain and intensity first love can bring.

Beautifully written in Berg's irresistible voice, Joy School portrays the soaring happiness of real love, the deep despair one can feel when it goes unrequited, and the stubbornness of hope that will not let us let go. Here also is recognition that love can come in many forms and offer many different things. Joy School illuminates, too, how the things that hurt the most can sometimes teach us the lessons that really matter.

About Durable Goods, Elizabeth Berg's first novel, Andre Dubus said, "Elizabeth Berg writes with humor and a big heart about resilience, loneliness, love and hope. And the transcendence that redeems." The same will be said of Joy School, Elizabeth Berg's most luminous novel to date.


From the Hardcover edition.

What We Keep: A Novel (Ballantine Reader's Circle)
ISBN: 0345423291

Ballantine Books. 1999

Do you ever really know your mother, your daughter, the people in your family? In this rich and rewarding new novel by the beloved bestselling author of
Talk Before Sleep and The Pull of the Moon, a reunion between two sisters and their mother reveals how the secrets and complexities of the past have shaped the lives of the women in a family.

Ginny Young is on a plane, en route to see her mother, whom she hasn't seen or spoken to for thirty-five years. She thinks back to the summer of 1958, when she and her sister, Sharla, were young girls. At that time,a series of dramatic events--beginning with the arrival of a mysterious and sensual next-door neighbor--divided the family, separating the sisters from their mother. Moving back and forth in time between the girl she once was and the woman she's become, Ginny at last confronts painful choices that occur in almost any woman's life, and learns surprising truths about the people she thought she knew best.

Emotional honesty and a true understanding of people and relationships are combined in this moving and deeply satisfying new book by the novelist who
"writes with humor and a big heart about resilience, love and hope. And the transcendence that redeems" (Andre Dubus).


From the Hardcover edition.

Until the Real Thing Comes Along: A Novel (Ballantine Reader's Circle)
ISBN: 034543739X

Ballantine Books. 2000

Patty Murphy is facing that pivotal point in a woman's life when her biological clock ticks as insistently as a beating heart. Will she find Mr. Right and start a family? But Patty is in love--with a man who is not only attractive and financially sound, but sensitive and warmhearted. There's just one small problem: He is also gay.

Against her better judgment, and pleas from family and friends, Patty refuses to give up on Ethan.