Andrew Sean Greer was born in November 1970, in Washington, D.C., the child of two scientists. He is the author of six works of fiction. Greer has taught at a number of universities, including Freie Universitat in Berlin and the Iowa Writers Workshop. He was a finalist for the Premio von Rezzori for a work translated into Italian, as well as a TODAY show pick, a New York Public Library Cullman Center Fellow, and NEA Fellow, and a judge for the National Book Award. He is an identical twin.
While in San Francisco, he began to publish in magazines before releasing a collection of his stories, How It Was for Me. His stories have appeared in Esquire, The Paris Review, The New Yorker and other national publications, and have been anthologized most recently in The Book of Other People, and The PEN/ O. Henry Prize Stories 2009.
His first novel, The Path of Minor Planets, was published in 2001.
His third book, The Confessions of Max Tivoli, came out in 2004. Writing in The New Yorker, John Updike called the book “enchanting, in the perfumed, dandified style of disenchantment brought to grandeur by Proust and Nabokov.” Mitch Albom then chose The Confessions of Max Tivoli for the Today Show Book Club and it soon became a bestseller. The story of a man aging backwards, it was inspired by the Bob Dylan song "My Back Pages." Though similar in theme, it is related neither to the Fitzgerald short story nor the film "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."
Greer's fourth book, The Story of a Marriage, published in 2008, is about a San Francisco housewife who opens her door one day in 1952 to a stranger who makes an incredible offer, one than upends her world and reveals secrets and lies going back decades. The New York Times said of it: "Mr. Greer seamlessly choreographs an intricate narrative that speaks authentically to the longings and desires of his characters. All the while he never strays from the convincing and steady voice of Pearlie." The Washington Post called it "thoughtful, complex and exquisitely written."
The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells, Greer's fifth book and fourth novel, further develops the themes of love and time by presenting his main character with three versions of her life. Each morning, she awakens to the same room, the same city, the same aunt and brother and lover. The only change: the year in which they all are living: 1918, 1941 and 1985. Threads of war and disease connect the worlds, and Greta watches characters sometimes unable to live their lives, sometimes bound to repeat them. It was published in June 2013.
His sixth book, a comedy entitled Less, was published by Lee Boudreaux books in 2017. It is the comedy of a man fleeing the humiliations of love, middle-age, and failure by accepting invitations that lead to a trip around the world and back, at last, to face his final demon: himself. An excerpt was published in The New Yorker.Northern California Book Award
California Book Award
New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award
Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Public Library.
O. Henry Award for the short story, "Darkness".
Fernanda Pivano Award 2014 for American Literature in Italy.