Biography of Anthony Doerr

Anthony Doerr is an American author, who was born in 1973 in Cleveland, Ohio. He went to University School, a private boys school, from grades K-12. He then went to Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, where he majored in history, graduating in 1995. He earned his Master in Fine Arts (MFA) from Bowling Green University.

Doerr has published 2 novels, 1 memoir, and 2 collections of short stories. His very first published short story appeared in the Atlantic magazine in 2001. He says his biggest influences are writers Anne Carson and Cormac McCarthy. His first published collection of short stories was a book called The Shell Collector (2003), and his first novel, About Grace, was published in 2004. His memoir, about a year he spent in Rome with his family, was published in 2007.

In 2010, Doerr was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship, given to those "demonstrating exceptional creative ability in scholarship and the arts." Other writers who have received the fellowship in the past include John Updike, Kurt Vonnegut, and Saul Bellow. That year he released another collection of short stories called Memory Wall. Doerr says it took him 10 years to write All the Light We Cannot See, which was released in 2014; the novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2015 and was on The New York Times’ Bestseller List. Aside from writing and publishing books, Doerr has worked as a professor in Boise State University’s MFA program in creative writing, and he writes a column on science books for The Boston Globe. He also writes for an online publication called The Morning News. He was the writer-in-residence for the state of Idaho from 2007 - 2010.

Doerr currently lives in Boise, Idaho with his wife and twin sons.


Study Guides on Works by Anthony Doerr