Biography

Amy Reading grew up in Pennsylvania and Washington state. She worked for three years in scholarly book publishing. Being close to the production of so many books made her want to write her own, and graduate school was inevitable. She received her Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale in 2007.

Amy hit upon the idea for The Mark Inside while writing her dissertation on truth and deception in American autobiography, which contains a chapter on swindlers’ memoirs. She began writing the proposal for The Mark Inside in March 2007, as the Bernie Madoff scandal unfolded. She began talking about the book to editors just as Lehman Brothers was collapsing in the summer of 2008. And she started to write the book at the exact moment that the confidence game of the subprime housing market threatened to bring down the entire financial industry. The Mark Inside was published by Knopf in March 2012.

Amy writes history in the tradition of Lawrence Weschler and Simon Schama. Her overriding interest is using story and creative narrative form to convey argument and analysis. She believes that first-person narration or a strong authorial voice can have a crucial function in the writing of history, and that the discovery of the story should often be included in the frame of its telling if it prompts insight into the ways we arrive at meaning.

Amy reviews books for BookBrowse and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. She occasionally blogs for Huffington Post. She lives in upstate New York in a 170-year-old house. She writes upstairs in a dark blue room that has been the office of at least two other writers. Downstairs, she homeschools her two children with her husband, Jay Farmer.

Photo: Julie Prisloe

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