Maggie Shipstead: Biography

Maggie Shipstead

Maggie Shipstead is the prize-winning American author of two novels. She was born in Mission Viejo, California in 1983. Shipstead graduated with a BA from Harvard University before going on to study on the MFA program at the University of Iowa. She is a former Wallace Stegner fellow at Stanford University and a former student of the famous novelist Zadie Smith.

Shipstead works as a full time writer and her work has been published on a wide variety of different platforms including in publications such as the Guardian, Glamor magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, VQR, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and Tin House.

Her first novel, Seating Arrangements, was published in 2012 by Knopf. It was nominated for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize and was the winner of both the Dylan Thomas Prize and an LA Times award for First Fiction. The same novel became a New York Times bestseller in the year of its publication. It tells the story of a New England wedding which is turned on its head by a tidal wave of lust and deceit. It is a contemporary novel aimed at female readers and is often categorised as ‘chick lit’.

Maggie Shipstead now lives in Los Angeles, California. She is a keen traveller who often goes on exciting holidays by herself to places such as the Arctic. She used to be a keen horse rider but no longer finds the time to ride. When she isn’t writing her novels, she can be found creating poems about alcohol which are printed on the bottles and cans produced by the Jackalope Brewing Company.