Andrew Sean Greer

This article is from 2008

Andrew Sean Greer

No one can stop his California dreaming

With his recent impressive run in the literary world, it’s hard to imagine Andrew Sean Greer ever feeling edgy about his work. Since the release of critically acclaimed debut The Path Of Minor Planets in 2001, the San Francisco-based scribe has come up with a best-seller in the form of The Confessions Of Max Tivoli and now, with remarkable third offering The Story Of Marriage, looks set to equal if not outdo his past successes.

But it wasn’t always this way. Born in Washington DC, Greer initially entertained ideas of becoming an artist before he fell head over heels with Wuthering Heights and wrote his first ‘very florid and terrible’ book aged 16. The amiable author then made another few unsuccessful stabs at publishing while working as a chauffeur and then TV extra in New York, but it wasn’t until he moved to San Francisco that Greer really found his feet fiction-wise. ‘People are very supportive there and there’s a real book movement where writers encourage each other to try new things. In New York people read each others’ book reviews but we actually read each others’ books,’ Greer laughs from his hotel room on a press trip to London.

The Story Of Marriage – a beautifully penned tale of love and secrets in 1950s America – is an important landmark for the author as this extraordinary literary achievement has allowed Greer finally to feel at ease with his ranking as one of the world’s most talented young writers. ‘It’s like I’m allowed to keep doing this now and no one’s going to try and stop me,’ he says. ‘I have survived the pressure of following a big seller and that has given me real confidence to keep going.’

Andre Dubus III and Andrew Sean Greer, 21 Aug, 8.30pm £9 (£7).