December 2nd – Elizabeth Berg

“Isn’t that one of the great pleasures of reading? You enlarge your life in so many ways.”

Elizabeth Berg

Author Elizabeth Berg was born on December 2nd, 1948, in St. Paul, Minnesota. When she was three years old, her father re-enlisted in the Army, and her family frequently moved after that. Berg attended college at the University of Minnesota and became a registered nurse. Always interested in books and writing, she got her first rejection at 9 years old after submitting a poem American Girl Magazine. She didn’t submit anything again until she was 34 when she won an essay contest in Parents magazine. After that, she wrote for magazines for ten years. In 1974 she married Howard Berg. They had two daughters and later divorced. 

Her debut novel, Durable Goods, was published in 1993 when she was 45. It was selected as an ALA Best Book of the Year, as was her novel Joy School (1997). She has written more than two dozen books, including many bestsellers. Open House, published in 2000, was an Oprah Book Club selection. 

Berg lives outside of Chicago with her partner Bill Young and her dogs. She writes looking out her window, so she can watch dogs go by, and publishes around a book a year. Although she writes mostly novels, her short story collection, The Day I Ate Whatever I Wantedis also popular.

Although she says you can’t teach writing, it is something born into a person, she has written a book about the craft – Escaping Into the Open: The Art of Writing True (2012).

Lesson from Berg:

It doesn’t matter your education, training, or where you are in life. If you feel you’re meant to be a writer – write. 

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