Amanda Stern is the author of the memoir, Little Panic: Dispatches from an Anxious Life (Grand Central Publishing, 2018), which Publisher’s Weekly called, “honest and deeply felt” in a starred review. It was also a Barnes & Noble Discover New Voices Pick for Summer 2018. Her other books include the novel The Long Haul (Soft Skull Press, 2003), which Maggie Estep praised as “spare and gorgeous,” and the nine book Frankly Frannie middle grade series. Her work has appeared in the New York Times; The Believer, Salon.com, Blackbook, St. Ann’s Review, and Post Road. among others. Her personal essays have been included in several anthologies: Love is a Four Letter Word, The Marijuana Chronicles, and Women in Clothes, and her Believer interview with Laurie Anderson was included in Confidence, or the Appearance of Confidence: The Best of the Believer Music. She’s held several fellowships at both The MacDowell Colony (once as the Philip Morris Company Fellow) and at Yaddo. In 2012 she was a New York Foundation for the Arts fiction fellow.
When asked about what compelled her to revisit the devastating anxiety of her youth in Little Panic, Stern commented, “I spent my entire life convinced that there was a right way to be human, and that I was doing it wrong. Because my panic disorder went ignored until I was 25, I spent much of my youth hiding every terrifying fear I had, assuming that my suffering was shameful. As an adult it took me decades to finally understand that my limitations and differences don’t mean I’ve failed at life.”
Stern hosts, talks, moderates and curates for a variety of programs, including the National Book Awards “5 Under 35;” the BBC; Soundcheck; the MacDowell Colony; and the Brooklyn Public Library’s Gala with Paul Auster. She’s led storytelling workshops for Moleskine, Cirque du Soleil and Proctor & Gamble.
She created the wildly successful Happy Ending Music and Reading Series, which was a staple of Downtown NYC culture for over a decade, and which famously asked leading writers and musicians to not just give a reading or sing, but to take a public risk. The series was a critical success, and its inventive model paved the way for the proliferation of music and reading series created in its wake.
A fourth generation Manhattan native, Stern currently lives and writes in Brooklyn, NY.
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