Books

Time Travelers Wife – 2003
*Three Incestuous Sisters: An Illustrated Novel – 2005
*The Adventuress – 2006
Her Fearful Symmetry – 2010
The Night Bookmobile (graphic novel) – 2010
Magic: A Collection of the Esoteric and Arcane (w/Dan Abnett, Gemma Files, and Jonathan Oliver) – 2012
Raven Girl – 2013
Awake in the Dream World: The Art of Audrey Niffenegger (w/ Susan Fisher Sterling, Krystyna Wasserman and Mark Pascale) – 2013

*Originally limited edition handmade visual books

Limited Edition Handmade Visual Books (editions of ten)
The Spinster – (1986)
Aberrant Abecedarium –
(1986)
The Murderer
Spring


Illustrator
Sense and Sensibility - 2011
Persuasion – 2011


Some of Audrey's self portraits: Monkey Mind, Self Portrait as Siamese Twins, and Night Mind.

Audrey Niffenegger: Novelist, Graphic Novelist, Artist

"There is a kind of attention that artists pay to the world – to the piece of paper, what's in their head, what's in front of their eye – that I think writers would benefit from. Drawing is very meditative, and I think people miss out on something essential if they don't have a way to really see properly." 

Audrey shows us some examples of the book as art, one
of the places where physical books might be heading.

The inside of a sculptural book by Melissa J. Craig.
Audrey has created a magical world to live in, full of books, art, whimsey . . . and taxidermy. She keeps skeletons in her studio, and a pangolin and prairie dog in her kitchen and a rhea in the parlor, sources of inspiration and delight.

A library tortoise.

Her second novel, Her Fearful Symmetry, was sold in a bidding war for $5M. This year she will publish Raven Girl, which is also being adapted as a ballet that will be performed at the Royal Opera House in May, 2013, along with books about magic and her artwork. Another novel is in the works.

She teaches at Columbia College, but has moved from teaching art to teaching creative writing. She is a cofounder of Columbia College Chicago Center for Book and Paper Arts, the writing collective Text 3 (T3), which has a litmag/blog Little Bang, and was involved in the founding of ZolaBooks.com, an Indy blend of e-books and social media. She is generous in her support of all things bookish, and delightful.

Location:

Chicago, IL

Run Time:

41:15

Genre:

Novel, Graphic Novel, Comics

Website:

Raised:

Chicago, IL area

Youthful Influence:

Her mother, Peter Pan, Aubrey Beardsley, and her art teacher, Bill Wemmer

Favorite Authors:

Richard Powers, David Foster Wallace

Creative Habit:

On computer, with art and research. Wandering around thinking about the book as a whole - and its parts - with 'a slow boil in her head' until she figures things out. She works using as much time as she has when it is time to move on, and writes completely out of order.

Interview Movie
(Embedded version below)

MP3 Audio File
(Note: To download the podcast,
right click on the link if you are on a PC,
or
control click if you are on a Mac. )


In an unusual move, Audrey came to writing through her visual art (she has a visual art degree from the Chicago Art Institute and an MFA in Art Theory and Practice from Northwestern). Although she is an avid reader, she was primarily interested in the form of the book – in the art, binding, feel and visual storytelling that begins before a reader even picks it up. She began her artistic bookmaking and writing with handcrafted illustrated pieces that she wrote, drew, printed and hand-bound.

But in the late 90s she had an idea for a new book that didn't lend itself to this format. She spent a number of years thinking about and then writing The Time Travelers Wife, which immediately became an international best seller, surprising both her and her publisher.

Stepping into Audrey Niffenegger's home was a little like going home to us - only better. It is full of unusual artifacts, books, art and whimsy. One is sure that magic lurks in the corners, and that the taxidermied denizens dance at night. It is very much like Audrey, who is the kind of person who would find it more difficult to write about the daily pressures of marriage than time-travel.


Riki Tiki Tavi and his cobra on top of a bookcase.

and his pal the prairie dog.

The kitchen pangolin . . .

This stuffed 5'5" South American rhea greeted us as we stepped into Audrey's home. We we delighted since we'd had one as a 'pet.'

White doves; a nest with an egg.

A porcupine in a corner.

A wee caiman by the sofa.

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