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Alice Sebold
Alice Sebold 1 by David Shankbone.jpg
Born (1963-09-06) September 6, 1963 (age 60)
Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.
Occupation Writer
Education Syracuse University (BA)
University of Houston
University of California, Irvine (MFA)
Genre Literary fiction, memoir
Notable works
  • Lucky (1999)
  • The Lovely Bones (2002)
  • The Almost Moon (2007)
Glen David Gold
(m. 2001; div. 2012)

Alice Sebold (born September 6, 1963) is an American author. She is known for her novels The Lovely Bones and The Almost Moon, and a memoir, Lucky. The Lovely Bones was on The New York Times Best Seller list and was adapted into a film by the same name in 2010. Her memoir, Lucky, sold over a million copies.

Early life and education

Sebold was born in Madison, Wisconsin. She grew up in the Paoli suburb of Philadelphia, where her father taught Spanish at the University of Pennsylvania. While they were young, Sebold and her older sister, Mary, often had to take care of their mother, a journalist for a local paper, who suffered from panic attacks.

Sebold graduated from Great Valley High School in Malvern, Pennsylvania, in 1980. Sebold attended Syracuse University, where she earned her bachelor's degree. Among her professors was Tess Gallagher, who became one of Sebold's confidantes. Also among her professors were Raymond Carver, Tobias Wolff, and Hayden Carruth.

After graduating in 1984, she briefly attended the University of Houston in Texas, for graduate school, then moved to Manhattan for the next 10 years. She held several waitressing jobs while pursuing a writing career, but neither her poetry nor her attempts at writing a novel came to fruition.

Sebold left New York for Southern California, where she became a caretaker of an artists' colony, earning $386 a month and living in a cabin in the woods without electricity. She earned an MFA from the University of California, Irvine in 1998.

The Lovely Bones

Once Lucky was finished, Sebold was able to complete her novel, Monsters. She sent the manuscript to her mentor, Wilton Barnhardt, who passed it to his agent. The work was eventually published as The Lovely Bones in 2002.

A reviewer for the Houston Chronicle described the novel as "a disturbing story, full of horror and confusion and deep, bone-weary sadness. And yet it reflects a moving, passionate interest in and love for ordinary life at its most wonderful, and most awful, even at its most mundane." A reviewer for The New York Times wrote that Sebold had "the ability to capture both the ordinary and the extraordinary, the banal and the horrific, in lyrical, unsentimental prose". The Lovely Bones remained on The New York Times Best Seller list for over one year and by 2007, had sold over ten million copies worldwide.

In 2010, it was adapted into a film of the same name by Peter Jackson, starring Saoirse Ronan, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci, Mark Wahlberg, and Rachel Weisz.

Other writing

Sebold's second novel, The Almost Moon, describes an art class model who murders her mother. Sebold uses the killing as the starting point from which to examine dysfunctional relationships between parents and their daughters. The book received mixed reviews.

Sebold guest-edited The Best American Short Stories 2009.

Awards and recognition

The Lovely Bones won the Bram Stoker Award for First Novel and the Heartland Prize in 2002, and the American Booksellers Association's Book of the Year Award for Adult Fiction in 2003. Sebold held MacDowell fellowships in 2000, 2005, and 2009. In 2016, Emerson College awarded Sebold with an honorary degree.

Personal life

In 2001, Sebold married the novelist Glen David Gold; the couple divorced in 2012.


  • Lucky (memoir, 1999), Scribner, ISBN: 0-684-85782-0
  • The Lovely Bones (novel, 2002), Little, Brown, ISBN: 0-316-66634-3
  • The Almost Moon (novel, 2007), Little, Brown, ISBN: 0-316-67746-9

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Alice Sebold para niños

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