Amy Bloom Biography

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Amy Bloom, born in 1953 in New York City, was forty years old when her first book was published. Come to Me (1993) is a collection of short stories, a form for which Bloom was, at that time, well known. She had published her short stories in such prestigious publications as The New Yorker. Come to Me became a runner-up for the coveted National Book Award.

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Bloom, though a gifted author, was not trained in writing. She graduated from Smith College with a master’s degree in social work. Besides her writing career, Bloom works as a psychotherapist.

Bloom published her first novel, Love Inverts Us, in 1998. Once again, her work earned her a finalist standing for the National Book Award. This novel tells the coming-of-age story of a young girl evolving into womanhood as she searches for love. Bloom’s second collection of short stories, A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You (2001), received great critical attention and was nominated for the National Book Critic’s Circle Award for fiction. Many of Bloom’s stories have also been published both in the O. Henry Prize Story and Best American Short Stories collections, which indicates the caliber of her writing skills.

In 2002, Bloom broke away from fiction to write Normal, a book about sex and gender issues, relying on the author’s experience in psychotherapy. Through intimate real-life stories, Bloom points out the varieties of sexual identities, none of which, she found, could only be defined in black-and-white textbook terms. The general comment from reviewers was that Bloom takes the stories she has heard and weaves them through with her own theories, using the same writing skills and insights she has shown in her fiction.

Bloom published her second novel, Away, in 2007. This is a story of a young Russian immigrant who makes her way across the continental United States then up to Alaska in an attempt to find her daughter. Critics use words such as "magnificent odyssey" and "thrilling road trip" to describe this novel. In 2007, Bloom also wrote a script for television, called State of Mind, which aired on Lifetime.

Bloom was married and then divorced. In 2007, she married again, this time to Brian Ameche, an architect. The couple lives in Connecticut. Bloom has taught creative writing at various colleges, including Yale University and Brooklyn College.


(Short Stories for Students)

Amy Bloom was born in 1953. She spent her childhood in Great Neck, Long Island. According to the author, she started writing stories when she started reading, but she stopped when she was sixteen. At that time, she found it difficult to write about her life when she could not even understand it.

Bloom, however, maintained her lifelong fascination with other people’s stories, which perhaps explains the pull of the theater when she was younger. Bloom eventually attended graduate school and embarked upon a career as a psychotherapist. She later recalled that as she drove home after her first meeting with her training analyst, the urge to write suddenly resurfaced. By the time she reached her home, she had an entire plot for a story worked out.

Despite the interest in writing, Bloom continued to work full-time as a psychotherapist. Bloom has always been careful to completely maintain the privacy of her patients, however, and she has stated that she draws the material for her stories primarily from her own life and that of her friends and family.

Her short stories began to draw national attention in the early 1990s in such works as Antaeus and Story. Her work also appeared in The Best American Short Stories of both 1991 and 1992. In 1993, Bloom published the short story collection Come to Me. The book was a finalist that year for the National Book Award.

After her demonstrated success as a short-story writer, Bloom turned to longer works, and she published the novel Love Invents Us, excerpts of which originally appeared in such magazines as The New Yorker.

As Bloom’s literary reputation has grown, she has reduced her practice. Today, she continues to divide her time between her writing, her patients, and her family, with whom she resides in Connecticut.