Jean Thompson
Jean Thompson photo

Jean Thompson is a novelist and short story writer, whose most recent novel is The Poet’s House (Algonquin). She has published 9 previous novels, including The Year We Left Home and Wide Blue Yonder, and 6 short story collections, including the National Book Award finalist Who Do You Love.

Thompson’s short fiction has been published in many magazines and journals, including The New Yorker, and been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories and Pushcart Prize. Her work has been praised by Elle Magazine as “bracing and wildly intelligent writing that explores the nature of love in all its hidden and manifest dimensions.”

Jean has been the recipient of Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, among other accolades, and taught creative writing at the University of Illinois–Champaign/ Urbana, Reed College, Northwestern University, and many other colleges and universities. She lives in Urbana, Illinois.

Books by Jean Thompson


The Poet’s House (2022)

A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl (2018)

She Poured Out Her Heart (2016)

The Humanity Project (2013)

The Year We Left Home (2011)

City Boy (2004)

Wide Blue Yonder (2001)

The Woman Driver (1985)

My Wisdom (1982)

Short Story Collections

The Witch and Other Tales ReTold (2014)

Do Not Deny Me: Stories (2009)

Throw Like a Girl (2007)

Who Do You Love (1999)

Little Face and Other Stories (1984)

The Gasoline Wars (1982)

Awards and Honors

1978: National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship

1984: Guggenheim Fellowship

1999: Finalist, National Book Award for Fiction (for Who Do You Love)

2009-2010: The Best American Short Stories and Pushcart Prize (both for “Wilderness”)