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Allison Amend

Born: May 20, 1974 in Chicago, Illinois
Connection to Illinois: Amend was born in Chicago.

Biography: Allison Amend, a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She lives in New York City, where she teaches creative writing at Lehman College and for the Red Earth MFA program.

  • THINGS THAT PASS FOR LOVE Independent Publisher Book Award
  • STATIONS WEST 2011 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature and the Oklahoma Book Award

Primary Literary Genre(s): Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers


Selected Titles

A Nearly Perfect Copy: A Novel
ISBN: 0385536690 OCLC: 794306412

Nan A. Talese New York : 2013

Elm Howells has a loving family and a distinguished career at an elite Manhattan auction house. But after a tragic loss throws her into an emotional crisis, she pursues a reckless course of action that jeopardizes her personal and professional success. Meanwhile, talented artist Gabriel Connois wearies of remaining at the margins of the capricious Parisian art scene, and, desperate for recognition, he embarks on a scheme that threatens his burgeoning reputation. As these narratives converge, with disastrous consequences, A Nearly Perfect Copy boldly challenges our presumptions about originality and authenticity, loss and replacement, and the perilous pursuit of perfection.

Enchanted Islands: A Novel
ISBN: 0385539061 OCLC: 912140312

Nan A. Talese 2016

Born in Duluth, Minnesota, in 1882 to immigrant parents, Frances Frankowski covets the life of her best friend, Rosalie Mendel, who has everything Fanny could wish for—money, parents who value education, and an effervescent and winning personality. When, at age fifteen, Rosalie decides they should run away to Chicago, Fanny jumps at the chance to escape her unexceptional life. But, within a year, Rosalie commits an unforgivable betrayal, inciting Frances to strike out on her own.Decades later, the women reconnect in San Francisco and realize how widely their lives have diverged. While Rosalie is a housewife and mother, Frances works as a secretary for the Office of Naval Intelligence. There she is introduced to Ainslie Conway, an intelligence operator ten years her junior. When it’s arranged for Frances and Ainslie to marry and carry out a mission on the Galápagos Islands, the couple’s identities—already hidden from each other—are further buried under their new cover stories. No longer a lonely spinster, Frances is about to begin the most fascinating and intrigue-filled years of her life.Amid active volcanoes, forbidding wildlife and flora, and unfriendly neighbors, Ainslie and Frances carve out a life for themselves. But the secrets they harbor from their enemies and from each other may be their undoing.Drawing on the rich history of the early twentieth century and set against a large, colorful canvas, Enchanted Islands boldly examines the complexity of female friendship, the universal pursuit of a place to call home, and the reverberations of secrets we keep from others and from ourselves.

Stations West: A Novel (Yellow Shoe Fiction)
ISBN: 0807136174 OCLC: 652664972

LSU Press Baton Rouge : 2010

Oklahoma is a forgotten territory of "Indians, outlaws, and immigrants" when its first Jewish settler, Boggy Haurowitz, arrives in 1859. Full of expectations, he finds the untamed region a formidable foe, its landscape rugged, its resources strained. In Stations West, four generations of Haurowitzes, intertwined with a family of Swedish immigrants, struggle against the Territory's "insatiable appetite." The challenges of creating a home amid betrayals, nature's vagaries, and burgeoning statehood prove too great. Each generation in turn succumbs to the overwhelming lure of the transcontinental railroad, and each returns home to find the landscape of their youth, like themselves, changed beyond recognition, their family utterly transformed. Dramatic and lyrical, Allison Amend's first novel, steeped in the history and lore of the Oklahoma Territory, tells an unforgettable multigenerational -- and very American -- story of Jewish pioneers, their adopted family, and the challenges they face. Amid the founding of the West, Stations West's generations struggle to forge and maintain their identities as Jews, as immigrants, and as Americans.

Things That Pass for Love
ISBN: 0976717743 OCLC: 225874055

OV Books Chicago, IL : 2008

Allison Amend’s writing is both thoughtful and entertaining, with a strong sense of humor throughout.