Sandra Thompson


Photo by Kristy Andersen

To Order Close-Ups

Biography of a Writer

Sandra Thompson, an acute observer of contemporary relationships, writes with haunting understatement and unflinching candor. She has chronicled the interior life of women in novels, short stories, essays and memoir.

Her short story collection, Close-Ups, winner of the Flannery O'Connor Award and a New York Times New & Notable book, “is a deft and vivid account of the emotional stages in a woman’s life.” (The Nation.) Close-Ups was reprinted by University of Georgia Press in October, 2011.

Her novel, Wild Bananas (Atlantic Monthly Press), which dissects a brief young marriage, is "acerbic and raucously funny...an impressive novelistic debut." -- San Francisco Chronicle.

As an editor, writer and columnist for the St. Petersburg Times, Thompson was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. A series she directed, "A Gift Abandoned," about a woman who left her baby in a VCR box beside a dumpster, won the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing.

She has recently completed a memoir, "Home Avenue," that traces her mother's life from a small railroad town on the Mississippi to the suburbs of the 1950s on 60s, a privileged life of Girls Scouts, country clubs, alcoholism and wife beating.

She is currently working on a novel, "Below the Fold," that takes place in a 1990's newsroom when newspapers were still sexy.

Thompson’s work has appeared in anthologies, magazines and newspapers including the New York Times. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College where she studied with Jonathan Baumbach. She has taught fiction writing workshops on the graduate level at University of South Florida and at New College.

Sandra Thompson was born in Chicago and grew up in the northwestern suburb Park Ridge. She received her B. A. from Ohio Wesleyan University, which awarded her a Distinguished Achievement Citation in 2010. Her publishing career began in New York at Magazine Management Company, where she edited, True Secrets, a confessions magazine, and wrote stories with titles like “Shocked when I Discovered My Husband Was One of the Girls at the Office!”

She lives in Tampa, Florida, with her husband Chris Sherman, a food and wine writer. Her daughter, Alex, a teacher of special needs children, lives with her husband and son in New York City.

Selected Works

Fiction
"Stunning wit and sparkle"
Washington Book Review
"A sad/funny first novel of real pathos and skill." -- Kirkus Reviews
Essay
Column, St. Petersburg Times, July 30, 2005