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Audrey Niffenegger Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Spinster (1986) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Time Traveler's Wife (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Three Incestuous Sisters (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Her Fearful Symmetry (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Graphic Standalone Novels

The Adventuress (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Night Bookmobile (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

The Raven Girl (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Awake in the Dream World (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Author Audrey Niffenegger is a writer of novels, short stories, and graphic novels; she is also an artist (this comes in handy with her illustrated stories or her graphic novels that she writes). She was born June 13, 1963 in South Haven, Michigan, and grew up in Evanston, Illinois. Niffenegger was trained at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in visual artist program. Under the tutelage of William Wimmer, she began making prints in the year 1978. She also got her MFA from Northwestern University’s Art Theory and Practice Department in the year 1991. She is married to Eddie Campbell (an artist and writer).

She has a background in Catholicism, but says that her belief is somewhere on the spectrum of agnostic and atheist.

Her first novel, she actually wrote way out of order. She wrote the final two scenes before anything else, and then started working backwards. From there she started thinking about who the characters were. Originally she planned on writing this book as a graphic novel, but found that still images would have a tough time showing the jumps in time. At first, she had a hard time finding a literary agent. She sent the novel to a publisher unsolicited, and after an auction for the rights, she chose them to publish her book. It became a bestseller after a family friend of Niffenegger (who is named Scott Turow, and is also an author) endorsed the book on The Today Show. It has gone on to sell over two million copies all over the world, and it has been translated in many languages. When the novel first came out, it did not sell all that bad, making it to the ninth spot on New York Times Bestseller list.

To do research on her second novel (“Her Fearful Symmetry”), she acted as a tour guide in London’s Highgate Cemetery. She was advanced five million dollars from Charles Scribner’s Sons for this novel; it was one of the most sought after novels ever written.

This second novel of hers, while it did not sell nearly as well as her first novel, was given more praise by the critics and developed Niffenegger’s reputation as a novelist of atmosphere and ideas.

At Columbia College Chicago, she is a professor in the creative writing department. She has also founded T3 (or Text 3) which is a writer and artist group that exhibits and performs in Chicago. She is both an alumna and board member of the Ragdale Foundation. She has also taught Book and Paper Arts, after co-founding (with other paper makers, book artists, and designers) a brand new book arts center.

She used to write and bind her own books by hand, in editions of ten. Only two of these have seen major commercial publication since then.

“The Time Traveler’s Wife” is the debut novel by Audrey Niffenegger and was released in the year 2003. The novel uses first person perspectives that alternate between a married couple. It tells the stories of Clare Anne Abshire and Henry DeTamble, in their own words. Henry is a librarian at the Newberry Library, which is located in Chicago. Clare makes paper sculptures. Henry has a genetic disorder (a very rare one) that is called Chrono- Impairment that causes him to time travel against his will. At the start of the novel, twenty year old Clare meets 28 year old Henry, he does not recognize her. Which is odd because she has known him for most her life. For Henry, it started when he was five years old, jumping backward or forward. He cannot control anything about his time traveling (like when it happens, how long he’ll be gone, his location when he goes). Destinations are tied to his subconscious, going to places and times that are tied to his personal history. Stress can trigger time travel, so he often jogs so that he can remain calm and stay in his own present. He looks for drugs while in the future that may be able to help keep his traveling in check. He cannot take anything with him, not even clothes or food. He even is able to put together different survival skills (pick-pocketing, lock-picking, and self defense), which he picks up from older versions of himself. Henry even tries to get a geneticist named Dr. Kendrick to help him.

“Her Fearful Symmetry” is the second novel by Audrey Niffenegger and was released in the year 2009. The title for the novel comes from a poem that was written by William Blake called “The Tyger”. Julia and Valentina (who are identical twins) inherit the apartment of their aunt, Elspeth (who died of leukemia). The apartment is located near Highgate cemetery in London. The twins are Americans, from Illinois, where they lived with their mother Edwina (Elspeth’s twin sister). The elder twins had an estranged relationship, having not spoken in many years. The reason is a secret, that is not explained to the girls. Julia is the more dominant of the two younger twins, but they do everything together and always have. Valentina has a heart valve that did not fully form and asthma, which makes her a little ill. They have gone to London to live in their aunt’s flat. Robert (who was Elspeth’s lover) lives in an apartment below, and Martin lives in the apartment above. Martin’s wife left him due to his obssessive compulsive disorder. Robert works as a guide in the cemetery so that he can learn more about it for his thesis that he is writing about it. Valentina falls in love with Robert, and Robert falls in love with her. But his falling in love with her is mainly because of the fact of the way she reminds him of Elspeth. Unknown to everyone that lives in the building, Elspeth has been living in the apartment as a ghost.

In 2009, an adaptation of “The Time Traveler’s Wife” was released. It starred Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana in the lead roles. It was written by Bruce Joel Rubin and Robert Schwentke.

“The Time Traveler’s Wife” won Exclusive Books Boeke Prize, and a British Book Award.

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