Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Elizabeth Berg  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Born: 1948 in St. Paul, Minnesota

Sites:

E-Mail:


Illinois Connection

Berg lives in Oak Park.

Biographical and Professional Information

Elizabeth Berg is the author of many bestselling novels as well as two works of nonfiction. She studied English at the University of Minnesota, and later ended up as a nurse. Her debut novel was published in 1993, and today she is a bestselling author. Her three novels Durable Goods, Joy School, and True to Form are a trilogy about the 12-year-old Katie Nash and are, in part, based on Berg's own experience as a daughter born into a military family.Berg has received several literary awards and nominations. Her writing has been translated into 27 languages and three of her novels have been turned into television movies. She is the founder of Writing Matters, a quality reading series dedicated to serving author, audience, and community. She teaches one-day writing workshops and is a popular speaker at venues around the country.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Family Traditions: Celebrations for Holidays and Everyday
ISBN: 0895774569

Readers Digest. 1997

Presents a wide range of activities, traditions, ideas, and rituals that are designed to encourage families to share quality time together, including suggestions for the major holidays, seasonal celebrations, everyday customs, and more. 20,000 first printing.

Durable Goods: A Novel (Katie Nash)
ISBN: 081296814X

Ballantine Books. 2003

On the hot Texas army base she calls home, Katie spends the lazy days of her summer waiting: waiting to grow up

waiting for Dickie Mack to fall in love with her

waiting for her breasts to blossom

waiting for the beatings to stop. Since their mother died, Katie and her older sister, Diane, have struggled to understand their increasingly distant, often violent father. While Diane escapes into the arms of her boyfriend, Katie hides in her room or escapes to her best friend’s house—until Katie’s admiration for her strong-willed sister leads her on an adventure that transforms her life.

Written with an unerring ability to capture the sadness of growth, the pain of change, the nearly visible vibrations that connect people, this beautiful novel by the bestselling author of Open House reminds us how wonderful—and wounding—a deeper understanding of life can be.

Talk Before Sleep: A Novel
ISBN: 0345491254

Ballantine Books. 2006

"Until that moment, I hadn't realized how much I'd been needing to meet someone I might be able to say everything to."

They met at a party.

It was hate at first sight.

Ruth was far too beautiful, too flamboyant.

Not at all Ann's kind of person.

Until a chance encounter in the bathroom led to an alliance of souls.

Soon they were sharing hankies during the late showing of "Sophie's Choice," wolfing down sundaes sodden with whipped cream, telling truths of marriage, mortality, and love, secure in a kind of intimacy no man could ever know.

Only best friends understand devil's food cake for breakfast when nothing else will do.

After years of shared secrets, guilty pleasures, family life and divorce, they face a crisis that redefines the meaning of friendship and unconditional love.


From the Paperback edition.

Range of Motion: A Novel
ISBN: 042516876X

Berkley. 2000

From the New York Times bestselling author of Talk Before Sleep and What We Keep comes "the love story of the year" (Detroit Free Press). A woman waiting for her husband to awake from a coma discovers the meaning of love, friendship, and faith.

The Pull of the Moon
ISBN: 0425176487

Berkley Books. 2000

"Not a novel about a woman leaving home, but . . . a human being finding her way back." —Chicago Tribune

"Turning 50 seems to turn women crazy. When Nan hits this mark, she hits the road, leaving behind her home and husband. Driving west from Boston, she consults only her own pleasure. And while this sounds easy, it is often arduous for Nan, who can hardly remember what her own pleasure is . . . The Pull of the Moon is upbeat from beginning to end." —Boston Sunday Globe

"Measured, delicate, and impossible to walk away from." —Entertainment Weekly

Joy School (Katie Nash)
ISBN: 0345423097

Ballantine Books. 1998

In this exquisite new novel by bestselling writer Elizabeth Berg, a young woman falls in love -- and learns how sorrow can lead to an understanding of joy.

Katie, the narrator, has relocated to Missouri with her distant, occasionally abusive father, and she feels very much alone: her much-loved mother is dead

her new school is unaccepting of her

and her only friends fall far short of being ideal companions. When she accidentally falls through the ice while skating, she meets Jimmy. He is handsome, far older than she, and married, but she is entranced. As their relationship unfolds, so too does Katie's awareness of the pain and intensity first love can bring.

Beautifully written in Berg's irresistible voice, Joy School portrays the soaring happiness of real love, the deep despair one can feel when it goes unrequited, and the stubbornness of hope that will not let us let go. Here also is recognition that love can come in many forms and offer many different things. Joy School illuminates, too, how the things that hurt the most can sometimes teach us the lessons that really matter.

About Durable Goods, Elizabeth Berg's first novel, Andre Dubus said, "Elizabeth Berg writes with humor and a big heart about resilience, loneliness, love and hope. And the transcendence that redeems." The same will be said of Joy School, Elizabeth Berg's most luminous novel to date.


From the Hardcover edition.

What We Keep: A Novel (Ballantine Reader's Circle)
ISBN: 0345423291

Ballantine Books. 1999

Do you ever really know your mother, your daughter, the people in your family? In this rich and rewarding new novel by the beloved bestselling author of
Talk Before Sleep and The Pull of the Moon, a reunion between two sisters and their mother reveals how the secrets and complexities of the past have shaped the lives of the women in a family.

Ginny Young is on a plane, en route to see her mother, whom she hasn't seen or spoken to for thirty-five years.

She thinks back to the summer of 1958, when she and her sister, Sharla, were young girls. At that time,a series of dramatic events--beginning with the arrival of a mysterious and sensual next-door neighbor--divided the family, separating the sisters from their mother.

Moving back and forth in time between the girl she once was and the woman she's become, Ginny at last confronts painful choices that occur in almost any woman's life, and learns surprising truths about the people she thought she knew best.

Emotional honesty and a true understanding of people and relationships are combined in this moving and deeply satisfying new book by the novelist who
"writes with humor and a big heart about resilience, love and hope. And the transcendence that redeems" (Andre Dubus).


From the Hardcover edition.

Until the Real Thing Comes Along (Ballantine Reader's Circle)
ISBN: 034543739X

Ballantine Books. 2000

Patty Murphy is facing that pivotal point in a woman's life when her biological clock ticks as insistently as a beating heart. Will she find Mr. Right and start a family? But Patty is in love--with a man who is not only attractive and financially sound, but sensitive and warmhearted. There's just one small problem: He is also gay.

Against her better judgment, and pleas from family and friends, Patty refuses to give up on Ethan. Every man she dates ultimately leaves her aching for the gentle comfort and intimacy she shares with him. But even as she throws eligible bachelors to the wayside to spend yet another platonic night with Ethan, Patty longs more and more for the consolation of loving and being loved. In the meantime she must content herself with waiting--until the real thing comes along. . . .

Escaping into the Open: The Art of Writing True
ISBN: 0060929294

HarpPeren. 2000

“Crystal clear, bracing as ice water, Escaping Into the Open should be read by all scribblers regardless of material success.”
—Rita Mae Brown

“This is a really good book.”
Booklist

Bestselling, award-winning novelist Elizabeth Berg knows a thing or two about writing, having graced the world with wonderful works of fiction including Talk Before Sleep, The Year of Pleasures, and the acclaimed Oprah Book Club Selection, Open House. With Escaping Into the Open, she offers an inspiring, eminently entertaining, and delightfully practical handbook on the joys, challenges, and creative possibilities inherent in the writing life. Now revised with new material—a classic in the vein of Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg and Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird—Elizabeth Berg’s Escaping Into the Open is an indispensable guide for any aspiring storyteller.

Open House
ISBN: 0099461269

Arrow Books Ltd. 2001

When Samantha Morrow's husband leaves her and her eleven-year-old son she is faced with the terrifying prospect of having to recreate her whole life. After a few faltering steps she starts to put the pieces into place. She opens her house to a series of lodgers who each in their eccentric way help her to see herself. She fends off her mother, whose idea of getting over a failed marriage is to get a pedicure and get out there dating. And she makes a friend, King, an MIT graduate turned handyman, who shows her that she has the ability to make her own future and her own happiness ...

Never Change
ISBN: 0743411331

Washington Square Press. 2002

A self-anointed spinster at fifty-one, Myra Lipinski is reasonably content with her quiet life, her dog, Frank, and her career as a visiting nurse. But everything changes when Chip Reardon, the golden boy she adored in high school, is assigned as her new patient. Choosing to forgo treatment for an incurable illness, Chip has returned to his New England hometown to spend what time he has left. Now, Myra and Chip find themselves engaged in a poignant redefinition of roles, and a complicated dance of memory, ambivalence, and longing.

Ordinary Life: Stories
ISBN: 0812968131

Random House. 2003

In this superb collection of short stories, Elizabeth Berg takes us into remarkable moments in the lives of women, when memories and events come together to create a sense of coherence, understanding, and change. In “Ordinary Life,” Mavis McPherson locks herself in the bathroom for a week, shutting out her husband and the realities of their life together—and, no, she isn’t contemplating a divorce. She just needs some time to think, to take stock of her life, and to arrive, finally, at a surprising conclusion.

In “White Dwarf” and “Martin’s Letter to Nan,” the secrets of a marriage are revealed with the sensitivity and “brilliant insights about the human condition” (Detroit Free Press) that have become a trademark of Berg’s writing. The Charlotte Observer has said, “Berg captures the way women think as well as any writer.” Those qualities of wisdom and insight are everywhere present in Ordinary Life.

True to Form: A Novel
ISBN: 0743411358

Washington Square Press. 2003

True to Form: A Novel

Say When: A Novel
ISBN: 0743411374

Washington Square Press. 2004

When is a marriage worth saving and when is it best to let go? When do half-truths turn into full-blown lies? When does betrayal end and passion begin?
Say When is a compelling, complex novel that takes readers into the heart of a modern marriage where companionship and intimacy, and denial and pain, so often collide. "Of course he knew she was seeing someone," begins the story of Frank Griffin, a man who's willing to overlook his wife's infidelity -- he would let her have this, this thrilling little romance -- for the sake of keeping his family intact. But when the forty-year-old Ellen requests a divorce on the basis that she has finally found true, romantic love, Griffin must decide whether to fight or flee...or search elsewhere for the kind of life he always dreamed of.
With Elizabeth Berg's trademark blend of rare insight, raw emotion, and hard-won wisdom, Say When is a work of startling revelation that no reader will soon forget.

The Art of Mending
ISBN: 034548648X

Ballantine Books. 2006

The Art of Mending

The Year of Pleasures
ISBN: 0812970993

Ballantine Books. 2006

In this rich and deeply satisfying novel by the beloved author of The Art of Mending, and Open House, a resilient woman embarks upon an unforgettable journey of adventure, self-discovery, and renewal.



Betta Nolan moves to a small town after the death of her husband to try to begin anew. Pursuing a dream of a different kind of life, she is determined to find pleasure in her simply daily routines. Among those who help her in both expected and unexpected ways are the ten-year-old boy next door, three wild women friends from her college days, a twenty-year-old who is struggling to find his place in the world, and a handsome man who is ready for love.

Elizabeth Berg's The Year of Pleasuresis about acknowledging the solace found in ordinary things: a warm bath,

good food,

the beauty of

nature, music, friends, and art. "Berg writes with humor and a big heart about resilience,

loneliness, love, and hope. And

the transcendence that redeems,"

said Andre Dubus about Durable Goods. And

the same could be said about The Year of Pleasures.




From the Hardcover edition.

The Handmaid and the Carpenter: A Novel
ISBN: 0345505913

Ballantine Books. 2008

This wonderful novel transports us to Nazareth in biblical times, where we meet Mary and Joseph–and understand them as never before: young, in love, and suddenly faced with an unexpected pregnancy. Aided by a great and abiding love, they endure challenges to their relationship as well as threats to their lives as they come to terms with the mysterious circumstances surrounding the birth of their child, Jesus. For Mary, the pregnancy is a divine miracle and a privilege. For Joseph, it is an ongoing test of his faith–in his wife as well as in his God. Exquisitely written and imbued with emotional truth and richness of detail, The Handmaid and the Carpenter explores lives touched profoundly by miracles large and small.


Praise for The Handmaid and the Carpenter

“The oldest story ever told becomes fresh, even modern. [Grade:] A.”
–Entertainment Weekly

“Poetic, reflective, and intricate . . . There is a crystalline humanity, a logical vulnerability in [Elizabeth] Berg’s imaginative interpretation [that] brings novel resplendence to a familiar story.”
–Booklist

“Sweetly lyrical and yet movingly realistic.”
–New York Daily News

“[Berg] movingly takes the story of the least ordinary couple in history, and by respectfully evoking the rhythms and rituals of
daily life, makes them more human, yet no less transcendent.”
–Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Imaginative and compelling.”
–Star Ledger

We Are All Welcome Here: A Novel
ISBN: 0812971000

Ballantine Books. 2007

Elizabeth Berg, bestselling author of The Art of Mending and The Year of Pleasures, has a rare talent for revealing her characters’ hearts and minds in a manner that makes us empathize completely. Her new novel, We Are All Welcome Here, features three women, each struggling against overwhelming odds for her own kind of freedom.

It is the summer of 1964. In Tupelo, Mississippi, the town of Elvis’s birth, tensions are mounting over civil-rights demonstrations occurring ever more frequently–and violently–across the state. But in Paige Dunn’s small, ramshackle house, there are more immediate concerns. Challenged by the effects of the polio she contracted during her last month of pregnancy, Paige is nonetheless determined to live as normal a life as possible and to raise her daughter, Diana, in the way she sees fit–with the support of her tough-talking black caregiver, Peacie.

Diana is trying in her own fashion to live a normal life. As a fourteen-year-old, she wants to make money for clothes and magazines, to slough off the authority of her mother and Peacie, to figure out the puzzle that is boys, and to escape the oppressiveness she sees everywhere in her small town. What she can never escape, however, is the way her life is markedly different from others’. Nor can she escape her ongoing responsibility to assist in caring for her mother. Paige Dunn is attractive, charming, intelligent, and lively, but her needs are great–and relentless.

As the summer unfolds, hate and adversity will visit this modest home. Despite the difficulties thrust upon them, each of the women will find her own path to independence, understanding, and peace. And Diana’s mother, so mightily compromised, will end up giving her daughter an extraordinary gift few parents could match.

Dream When You're Feeling Blue: A Novel
ISBN: 0345487540

Ballantine Books. 2008

New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Berg takes us to Chicago at the time of World War II in this wonderful story about three sisters, their lively Irish family, and the men they love.
As the novel opens, Kitty and Louise Heaney say good-bye to their boyfriends Julian and Michael, who are going to fight overseas. On the domestic front, meat is rationed, children participate in metal drives, and Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller play songs that offer hope and lift spirits. And now the Heaney sisters sit at their kitchen table every evening to write letters–Louise to her fiancé, Kitty to the man she wishes fervently would propose, and Tish to an ever-changing group of men she meets at USO dances. In the letters the sisters send and receive are intimate glimpses of life both on the battlefront and at home. For Kitty, a confident, headstrong young woman, the departure of her boyfriend and the lessons she learns about love, resilience, and war will bring a surprise and a secret, and will lead her to a radical action for those she loves. The lifelong consequences of the choices the Heaney sisters make are at the heart of this superb novel about the power of love and the enduring strength of family.


From the Hardcover edition.

The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted: And Other Small Acts of Liberation
ISBN: 1400065097

Random House. 2008

Exhilarating short stories of women breaking free from convention

Every now and then, right in the middle of an ordinary day, a woman rebels, kicks up her heels, and commits a small act of liberation.

What would you do, if you were going to break out and away? Go AWOL from Weight Watchers and spend an entire day eating every single thing you want–and then some? Start a dating service for people over fifty to reclaim the razzle-dazzle in your life–or your marriage? Seek comfort in the face of aging, look for love in the midst of loss, find friendship in the most surprising of places?

Imagine that the people in these wonderful stories–who do all of these things and more–are asking you: What would you do, if nobody was looking?

Home Safe: A Novel
ISBN: 0345487559

Ballantine Books. 2009

In this stunning novel, beloved bestselling author Elizabeth Berg weaves a beautifully written and richly resonant story of a mother and daughter in emotional transit. Helen Ames–recently widowed, coping with grief, unable to do the work that has always sustained her–is beginning to depend too much on her twenty-seven-year-old daughter, Tessa, meddling in her life and offering unsolicited advice. Then Helen is shocked to discover that her mild-mannered and seemingly loyal husband was apparently leading a double life. When a phone call from a stranger sets Helen on a surprising path of discovery, both mother and daughter reassess what they thought they knew about each other, themselves, and what really makes a home and a family.

The Last Time I Saw You: A Novel
ISBN: 1400068649

Random House. 2010

From the beloved bestselling author of Home Safe and The Year of Pleasures, comes a wonderful new novel about women and men reconnecting with one another—and themselves—at their fortieth high school reunion.

To each of the men and women in The Last Time I Saw You, this reunion means something different—a last opportunity to say something long left unsaid, an escape from the bleaker realities of everyday life, a means to save a marriage on the rocks, or an opportunity to bond with a slightly estranged daughter, if only over what her mother should wear.

As the onetime classmates meet up over the course of a weekend, they discover things that will irrevocably affect the rest of their lives. For newly divorced Dorothy Shauman, the reunion brings with it the possibility of finally attracting the attention of the class heartthrob, Pete Decker. For the ever self-reliant, ever left-out Mary Alice Mayhew, it’s a chance to reexamine a painful past. For LesterÂ

Heseenpfeffer, a veterinarian and widower, it is the hope of talking shop with a fellow vet—or at least that’s what he tells himself. For Candy Armstrong, the class beauty, it’s the hope of finding friendship before it is too late.

As Dorothy, Mary Alice, Lester, Candy, and the other classmates converge for the reunion dinner, four decades melt away: Desires and personalities from their youth reemerge, and new discoveries are made. For so much has happened to them all. And so much can still happen.

In this beautiful novel, Elizabeth Berg deftly weaves together stories of roads taken and not taken, choices made and opportunities missed, and the possibilities of second chances.

Once Upon a Time, There Was You: A Novel
ISBN: 1400068657

Random House. 2011

From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of Home Safe and The Last Time I Saw You comes a beautiful and moving novel about a man and woman, long divorced, who rediscover the power of love and family in the midst of an unthinkable crisis.



Even on their wedding day, John and Irene sensed that they were about to make a mistake. Years later, divorced, dating other people, and living in different parts of the country, they seem to have nothing in common—nothing except the most important person in each of their lives: Sadie, their spirited eighteen-year-old

daughter. Feeling smothered by Irene and distanced from John, Sadie is growing more and more attached to her new boyfriend, Ron.
When tragedy strikes, Irene and John come together to support the daughter they love so dearly. What takes longer is to remember how they really feel about each other.

Elizabeth Berg has once again created characters who embody the many shades of the human spirit. Reading Berg’s fiction allows us to reflect on our deepest emotions, and her gifts as a writer make Once Upon a Time, There Was You a wonderful novel about the power of love, the unshakeable bonds of family, and the beauty of second chances.

Escaping into the Open: The Art of Writing True
ISBN: 0062200445

Harper Perennial. 2012

“Crystal clear, bracing as ice water, Escaping Into the Open should be read by all scribblers regardless of material success.”
—Rita Mae Brown

“This is a really good book.”
Booklist

Bestselling, award-winning novelist Elizabeth Berg knows a thing or two about writing, having graced the world with wonderful works of fiction including Talk Before Sleep, The Year of Pleasures, and the acclaimed Oprah Book Club Selection, Open House. With Escaping Into the Open, she offers an inspiring, eminently entertaining, and delightfully practical handbook on the joys, challenges, and creative possibilities inherent in the writing life. Now revised with new material—a classic in the vein of Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg and Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird—Elizabeth Berg’s Escaping Into the Open is an indispensable guide for any aspiring storyteller.

Tapestry of Fortunes: A Novel
ISBN: 0345533798

Ballantine Books. 2014

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In this superb new novel by the beloved author of Open House, Home Safe, and The Last Time I Saw You, four women venture into their pasts in order to shape their futures, fates, and fortunes.


Cecilia Ross is a motivational speaker who encourages others to change their lives for the better. Why can’t she take her own advice? Still reeling from the death of her best friend, and freshly aware of the need to live more fully now, Cece realizes that she has to make a move—all the portentous signs seem to point in that direction.


She downsizes her life, sells her suburban Minnesota home and lets go of many of her possessions. She moves into a beautiful old house in Saint Paul, complete with a garden, chef’s kitchen, and three housemates: Lise, the home’s owner and a divorced mother at odds with her twenty-year-old daughter

Joni, a top-notch sous chef at a first-rate restaurant with a grade A jerk of a boss

and Renie, the youngest and most mercurial of the group, who is trying to rectify a teenage mistake. These women embark on a journey together in an attempt to connect with parts of themselves long denied. For Cece, that means finding Dennis Halsinger. Despite being “the one who got away,” Dennis has never been far from Cece’s thoughts.


In this beautifully written novel, leaving home brings revelations, reunions, and unexpected turns that affirm the inner truths of women’s lives. “Maybe Freud didn’t know the answer to what women want, but Elizabeth Berg certainly does,” said USA Today. Elizabeth Berg has crafted a novel rich in understanding of women’s longings, loves, and abiding friendships, which weave together into a tapestry of fortunes that connects us all.

Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more.

Praise for Tapestry of Fortunes


“A testament to the power of female friendships . . . Berg strips her writing down to what is essential and takes an unflinching look at lifelong regrets. The characters . . . will settle in your heart.”Booklist (starred review)


“Elizabeth Berg has carved out a place as one of America’s most beloved chroniclers of female friendship.”Chicago Tribune


“Luminous . . . As always, her writing is spare and lyrical, filled with . . . elegant description and profound insight.”Library Journal


“An incredibly uplifting and life-affirming story . . . Berg explores the themes of change and personal reinvention with exquisite phrasing, sharply-focused attention to detail, and boundless joy and heart.”—Bookreporter

Praise for Elizabeth Berg


“Truth rings forth clearly from every page. [Elizabeth] Berg captures the way women think—and especially the way they talk to other women—as well as any writer I can think of.”The Charlotte Observer, about Talk Before Sleep


“Elizabeth Berg’s gift as a storyteller lies most powerfully in her ability to find the extraordinary in the ordinary, the remarkable in the everyday.”The Boston Globe


“Berg’s writing is to literature what Chopin’s études are to music—measured, delicate, and impossible to walk away from until their completion. [Grade:] A+.”Entertainment Weekly

The Dream Lover: A Novel
ISBN: 0812993152

Random House. 2015

NEW YORK TIMES

BESTSELLER •

NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY USA TODAY •

Elizabeth Berg has written a lush historical novel based on the sensuous Parisian life of the nineteenth-century writer George Sand—which is perfect for readers of Nancy Horan and Elizabeth Gilbert.

At the beginning of this powerful novel, we meet Aurore Dupin as she is leaving her estranged husband, a loveless marriage, and her family’s estate in the French countryside to start a new life in Paris. There, she gives herself a new name—George Sand—and pursues her dream of becoming a writer, embracing an unconventional and even scandalous lifestyle.

Paris in the nineteenth century comes vividly alive, illuminated by the story of the loves, passions, and fierce struggles of a woman who defied the confines of society. Sand’s many lovers and friends include Frédéric Chopin, Gustave Flaubert, Franz Liszt, Eugène Delacroix, Victor Hugo, Marie Dorval, and Alfred de Musset. As Sand welcomes fame and friendship, she fights to overcome heartbreak and prejudice, failure and loss. Though considered the most gifted genius of her time, she works to reconcile the pain of her childhood, of disturbing relationships with her mother and daughter, and of her intimacies with women and men. Will the life she longs for always be just out of reach—a dream?


Brilliantly written in luminous prose, and with remarkable insights into the heart and mind of a literary force, The Dream Lover tells the unforgettable story of a courageous, irresistible woman.

Praise for The Dream Lover

“Exquisitely captivating . . . Sand’s story is so timely and modern in an era when gender and sexual roles are upended daily.”USA Today

“Fantastic . . . a provocative and dazzling portrait . . . Berg tells a terrific story, while simultaneously exploring sexuality, art, and the difficult personal choices women artists in particular made—then and now—in order to succeed. . . . The book, imagistic and perfectly paced, full of dialogue that clips along, is a reader’s dream.”The Boston Globe

“Absorbing . . . an armchair traveler’s delight . . . Berg rolls out the wonders of nineteenth-century Paris in cinematic bursts that capture its light, its street life, its people and sounds. . . . The result is an illuminating portrait of a magnificent woman whose story is enriched by the delicate brush strokes of Berg’s colorful imagination.”Chicago Tribune

“There is authority and confidence in the storytelling that makes the pages fly.”The New York Times

“Berg weaves an enchanting novel about the real life of George Sand.”Us Weekly

“Lavishly described . . . Berg uses her own skill as a writer to graphically present the reader with a clear picture of a brilliant, yet flawed woman.”—Fredericksburg Free Lance–Star

“[A] beautiful, imaginative re-creation . . . Berg’s years-long immersion in the writings of and about Sand has resulted in a remarkable channeling of Sand’s voice.”Library Journal (starred review)

“Berg offers vivid, sensual detail and a sensitive portrayal of the yearning and vulnerability behind Sand’s bold persona.”Publishers Weekly

“A thoroughly pleasant escape . . . [Sand is] intoxicating, beautiful, gifted, desirous, unconventional and heartbroken.”Kirkus Reviews

Make Someone Happy: Favorite Postings
ISBN: 153056705X

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2016

This is a collection of Elizabeth Berg's most-loved Facebook posts. She was asked by many to put these short essays into book form, to create, as one reader said, something to "take to the beach, or bed, or on an airplane." Elizabeth and her friend, the book's designer Phyllis Florin, happily complied, and they hope that their offering will be as welcome as flowers in a mailbox.

Still Happy: Includes "The Book of Homer"
ISBN: 1974438805

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2017

Still Happy is Elizabeth’s second collection of Facebook posts. Her first, Make Someone Happy, did indeed make many people happy, and so, due to popular demand, she has put together a second volume, which includes “The Book of Homer,” a tribute to her beloved dog who recently died. Still Happy, like Make Someone Happy, exemplifies Berg’s gift, as the Boston Globe said, “in her ability to find the extraordinary in the ordinary, the remarkable in the everyday.”

The Story of Arthur Truluv: A Novel
ISBN: 1400069904

Random House. 2017

“I dare you to read this novel and not fall in love with Arthur Truluv. His story will make you laugh and cry, and will show you a love that never ends, and what it means to be truly human.”—Fannie Flagg

An emotionally powerful novel about three people who each lose the one they love most, only to find second chances where they least expect them

“Fans of Meg Wolitzer, Emma Straub, or [Elizabeth] Berg’s previous novels will appreciate the richly complex characters and clear prose. Redemptive without being maudlin, this story of two misfits lucky to have found one another will tug at readers’ heartstrings.”—Booklist

For the past six months, Arthur Moses’s days have looked the same: He tends to his rose garden and to Gordon, his cat, then rides the bus to the cemetery to visit his beloved late wife for lunch. The last thing Arthur would imagine is for one unlikely encounter to utterly transform his life.



Eighteen-year-old Maddy Harris is an introspective girl who visits the cemetery to escape the other kids at school. One afternoon she joins Arthur—a gesture that begins a surprising friendship between two lonely souls. Moved by Arthur’s kindness and devotion, Maddy gives him the nickname “Truluv.” As Arthur’s neighbor Lucille moves into their orbit, the unlikely trio band together and, through heartache and hardships, help one another rediscover their own potential to start anew.

Wonderfully written and full of profound observations about life, The Story of Arthur Truluv is a beautiful and moving novel of compassion in the face of loss, of the small acts that turn friends into family, and of the possibilities to achieve happiness at any age.

Praise for The Story of Arthur Truluv

“For several days after [finishing The Story of Arthur Truluv], I felt lifted by it, and I found myself telling friends, also feeling overwhelmed by 2017, about the book. Read this, I said, it will offer some balance to all that has happened, and it is a welcome reminder we’re all neighbors here.”Chicago Tribune

“Not since Paul Zindel’s classic The Pigman have we seen such a unique bond between people who might not look twice at each other in real life. This small, mighty novel offers proof that they should.”People, Book of the Week


Awards

-- Durable Goods Best Book of the Year
, American Library Association Joy School Best Book of the Year
, American Library Association Talk Before Sleep

Illumminator Award, AMC Cancer Research Center

Shortlisted, ABBY Award, 1996Open House

Oprah’s Book Club Selection, 2000The Art of Mending

"One Book", South Dakota National Geographic Traveler article on a cooking school in Positano, Italy

North American Travel Journalists Association Award The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted and Other Small Acts of Liberation

ILLINOIS READS Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2015Body of WorkNew England Booksellers Award for fiction, 1997

Literary Light, Boston Public Library

Honored by the Chicago Public Library

Honored at the 2004 Illinois Author Book Fair sponsored by the Illinois Center for the Book and the Illinois State Library in Springfield, Illinois.