Writer Amy Bloom is know for the complexity of her work. Her characters are complicated and full of surprises. Bloom got an early start in her craft. As a child growing up in New York, she remembers composing poems that she described in an interview with the fiction and poetry website Phoughshares as“Derivative, I fear—influenced by Dr. Seuss.” Her enthusiasm continued into adolescence, but Bloom eventually found herself deviating from fiction. She studied Clinical Social Work at Smith College, and eventually starting a private therapy practice. But in the early days of her psychology career, Bloom was again driven to write.
In 1993 she published Come to Me, her first short story collection, which was met with strong critical reviews, and went on to be nominated for the National Book Award. Three additional short story collections and three novels followed the success of her first publication. Her latest release, the novel, Lucky Us, was described by The New York Times as “sparsely beautiful.”
Bloom’s work is often noted for being intensely personal, rooted in an exploration of the hearts and minds of her characters. But she insists that her fiction isn’t a product of psychoanalytic training, but rather the opposite. “I think I became a therapist because I love people’s stories,” she said, “the things that happen, or might have happened, or could have happened, the stories they—meaning we—construct and invent.”
Whatever its source, Bloom’s approach to prose has attracted a great deal of attention, with her work appearing in The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. She is also a recipient of the National Magazine Award. Bloom currently lives in Connecticut with her partner, editor Joy Johannessen, and is serving as Wesleyan College’s latest Writer In Residence.