Books by Jean Thompson

National Book Award finalist Jean Thompson doesn’t so much write characters as channel the inner sanctums of your friends and neighbors. She launches her latest, The Year We Left Home, from a 1970s small-town Iowa Lutheran wedding and follows the lives of key attendees over a three-decade span. In this story of insiders and outsiders, she chronicles the drama of America’s generations via the land of quiet cornfields and dried-up storefronts. See what Thompson had to say to Kirkus about her book here. Photo credit: Marion Ettlinger


A CLOUD IN THE SHAPE OF A GIRL by Jean Thompson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 9, 2018

"Thompson, who wrote movingly about another Midwestern family in The Year We left Home (2011), here creates a plot and characters that feel more diagrammed than lived."
Thompson (She Poured out Her Heart, 2016, etc.) constructs her latest novel around the parallel themes and variations in the unhappy lives of three generations of women in an unnamed Midwestern college town. Read full book review >
SHE POURED OUT HER HEART by Jean Thompson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 31, 2016

"An overly domesticated marriage-gone-bad story."
A woman discovers her husband is having an affair with her old college roommate. Can this marriage—kids, depression, and all—be saved? Read full book review >
THE WITCH by Jean Thompson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 25, 2014

"Still, the best stories are entertainingly inventive, doing more than just transposing contemporary characters onto familiar tales."
Fairy tales and folklore get clever modern realist rewrites from National Book Award finalist Thompson (The Humanity Project, 2013; The Year We Left Home, 2011, etc.). Read full book review >
THE HUMANITY PROJECT by Jean Thompson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 23, 2013

"A rare case of a novel getting it both ways: A formal, tightly constructed narrative that accommodates the mess of everyday lives."
Seemingly everybody on the class ladder scrabbles for a definition of human decency in the latest from Thompson (The Year We Left Home, 2011, etc.). Read full book review >
THE YEAR WE LEFT HOME by Jean Thompson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 2011

"A masterful wide-angle portrait of an Iowa family over three decades."
In Thompson's unforgettable, offbeat novel, an extended Iowa family struggles for emotional and economic stability over three decades, beginning with a modest Lutheran wedding in 1983 and ending with a bittersweet homecoming. Read full book review >
DO NOT DENY ME by Jean Thompson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 2009

"Wonderful work from a contemporary master of scrupulous observation, plain statement and unvarnished common sense."
The experiences of ordinary people making their claims to be understood and respected are precisely depicted in this fifth collection from the increasingly accomplished Thompson (Throw Like a Girl, 2007, etc.). Read full book review >