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Sara Gruen (born 1969 in Vancouver[1]) is an author with dual Canadian and U.S. citizenship. Her books deal greatly with animals and she is a supporter of numerous charitable organizations that support animals and wildlife.[2]

Sara Gruen
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Early life and educationEdit

Gruen was born in Vancouver, British Columbia. She grew up in London, Ontario, and attended Carleton University in Ottawa[2][3] to get a degree in English Literature. She continued to live in Ottawa for 10 years after graduation.[2]

Writing careerEdit

Gruen moved to the United States from Ottawa in 1999 in order to take a technical writing job.[4] When she was laid off two years later, she decided to try writing fiction. Gruen is an animal lover; both her first novel, Riding Lessons, and her second novel, Flying Changes, involve horses. Gruen's third book, the 1930s circus drama Water for Elephants, was initially turned down by her publisher at the time, Avon Books; as a result, Gruen was forced to find another publisher.[5] It went on to become a New York Times bestseller and is now available in 45 languages and as a 2011 film adaptation starring Reese Witherspoon, Christoph Waltz, and Robert Pattinson.[4] Her fourth novel, Ape House, centers around the Bonobo ape[4] and was sold to Spiegel & Grau on the basis of a 12-page summary.[5] Water for Elephants and Ape House are published by Two Roads Books.

Gruen's awards include being the BookSense #1 pick for June 2006, the Book Sense Book of the Year Award for Fiction 2007, the Cosmo Fun Fearless Fiction Award 2007, the BookBrowse Diamond Award Best Book 2006, the Great Lakes Book Award for Fiction 2007, the Midwest Booksellers’ Choice Award for fiction, the ALA/Alex Award 2007, the Carl Sandburg Award, 21st Century Fiction, 2007, and the Friends of American Literature Adult Fiction Award. Additionally, she was a 2006 Quill Award nominee for General Fiction, and a nominee for the Entertainment Weekly Best Novel of 2006. She also received a Doctorate of Humane Letters, Causa Honoris, from Wittenberg University.[4] Her fifth novel, At the Water's Edge, was published in 2015.

Personal lifeEdit

Gruen lives in North Carolina, with her husband, three sons, and seven animals.[6]


  1. ^ Gardner, Suzanne. "Sara Gruen". Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Erin Collazo Miller (2006-07-28). "Sara Gruen Interview". About. Retrieved 2011-04-02.
  3. ^ "Sara Gruen Author". Harper Perennial. Retrieved 2011-04-02.
  4. ^ a b c d "Sara Gruen Biography". Retrieved 2011-04-02.
  5. ^ a b Rich, Notoko (2007-07-11). "Big Time for a Novel Set Under the Big Top". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-12-23.
  6. ^ Rosenfeld, Jordan (2008-04-22). "The WD Interview: Sara Gruen". Writers Digest. Retrieved 2011-04-02.

External linksEdit