John Burnham Schwartz is the best-selling author of Bicycle Days, Reservation Road, Claire Marvel, The Commoner, and his latest, Northwest Corner.
After graduating from Harvard College where he'd majored in Japanese studies, Schwartz turned down a position with a prominent Wall Street investment bank after selling his first novel. That book, Bicycle Days, a coming-of-age story about a young American man in Japan, was published in 1989 on his 24th birthday. It went on to become a critically acclaimed bestseller.
Reservation Road, his second novel about a family tragedy and its aftermath, also became a bestseller. The book was made into a major motion picture based on Schwartz's screenplay starring Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Ruffalo, and Jennifer Connelly and directed by Terry George.
Schwartz went on to publish Claire Marvel, a love story set in America and France, and The Commoner, a novel inspired by the lives of the empress and crown princess of Japan. Spanning 70 years of modern Japanese history and looking deep into the secret, ancient world of the Japanese imperial family, The Commoner won Schwartz the best reviews and sales of his career.
His fifth book, Northwest Corner, picks up the lives of some of the characters from Reservation Road in an urgent, powerful story about family bonds and the wayward roads that lead us back to those we love.
Schwartz's work has been translated into more than 20 languages. He is a recipient of a Lyndhurst Prize for mastery in the art of fiction and his writing has appeared in such publications as The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, The Boston Globe, and Vogue.
Since writing the script for Reservation Road, Schwartz has become an accomplished screenwriter. He has written screen adaptations of Dana Canedy's memoir A Journal for Jordan and Nancy Horan's best-selling novel Loving Frank for Sony Pictures and Lionsgate, respectively, and has developed a dramatic television series for Showtime.
Schwartz has taught fiction writing at Harvard, the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, and Sarah Lawrence College, and is the literary director of the Sun Valley Writers' Conference, one of the leading literary festivals in the United States.
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