Last Updated on May 9, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 345
Anthony Doerr, also known as Tony Doerr, was born October 27, 1973, in Cleveland, Ohio. In high school, he developed an interest in writing, and by the time he was in his mid-twenties, Doerr was submitting his work to magazines for publication. Although his mother was a high school science teacher who encouraged family interest in science, Doerr, who writes a lot about science and the environment, did not pursue formal education in science. He obtained a B.A. in history at Bowdoin College in 1995 and an M.F.A. in writing at Bowling Green State University in 1999. After that, he taught at various institutions, including the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Boise State University, and Princeton University.
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Doerr’s essays and short stories have appeared in various magazines and journals, including the Paris Review, the Atlantic Monthly, and Zoetrope: All Story. In addition, some of his stories have been anthologized: for example, “The Shell Collector” was included in Best American Short Stories 2003; “The Caretaker” appeared in The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories (2004); and “The Demilitarized Zone” was included in The Best Underground Fiction, Volume One (2006). His book reviews, often connected to science, appeared frequently in the Boston Globe during the early 2000s.
In 2004, Doerr’s first novel, About Grace, appeared. This work tells the story of a man who is haunted by dreams that come true. When he dreams that he in unable to save his infant daughter, Grace, from drowning, he abandons his wife and daughter without offering an explanation. He harbors the hope that doing so will avert the fulfillment of this apparent prophecy. Doerr’s Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World was expected to appear in 2007.
Doerr’s short stories collection, The Shell Collector: Stories, won the Barnes & Noble Discover Prize, two O. Henry Prizes, the Ohioana Book Award, and the Rome Prize. About Grace won the 2005 Ohioana Book Award for Fiction, for the best book of the year. As of 2006, Doerr and his family lived in Boise, Idaho.