Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Alice LaPlante  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction Non-Fiction

Born: in 1958



Illinois Connection

LaPlante's family moved from the East coast to Arlington Heights in 1969. She attended Buffalo Grove High School and from there went on to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After college, LaPlante lived for several years on Racine Avenue near DePaul University in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Alice LaPlante is a New York Times bestselling author who writers both fiction and nonfiction. Her fiction has been widely published in Epoch, Southwestern Review, and other literary journals. She currently resides in Palo Alto, California and teaches creative writing at Stanford and San Francisco State Universities.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Dear Saint Anne, Send Me a Man: And Other Time-honored Prayers for Love
ISBN: 0789306557

Universe. 2002

Lovelorn? Don't despair. Just in time for Valentine's Day comes this delightfully whimsical guide to finding love through the aid of the saints, filled with over fifty rituals to remedy a wide range of romantic woes.

The saints have long been asked to intervene on behalf of us mortals. But did you know that there is a special group of saints who specialize in matters of the heart? For the first time, Dear Saint Anne, Send Me a Man offers up a guide to the most potent of these otherworldly matchmakers. From saints who can predict your romantic future to saints who can help you attract and keep a mate, there's a heavenly Dear Abby in here for you:

* Going on a blind date? Meet St. Raphael, your personal dating bodyguard.
* Seeking the crčme de la crčme of husbands? St. Catherine is a speeding bullet.
* In love with the wrong, or forbidden, person? St. Dwynwen will help, no questions asked.
* Found the right one and want to make it last? St. Monica is your gal.
* Plus: a cake recipe that can bring you visions of true for ugly ducklings, the newly single, and the broken-hearted...a pancake ritual that will make you irresistible...special days for love...and more...

Witty and informative, irresistibly packaged with original four-color illustrations throughout, Dear Saint Anne, Send Me a Man is the perfect gift for Valentine's Day and all the year round.

Method and Madness: The Making of a Story: A Guide to Writing Fiction
ISBN: 0393928179

W. W. Norton & Company. 2008

A fresh, inspiring guide to writing fiction.

Method and Madness takes its title from Hamlet: “Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.” Comprehensive and accessible, it provides guidelines to all aspects of fiction writing, from generating ideas to getting published. With a wealth of imaginative yet practical exercises and 39 stories―the most in any guide to fiction writing―Method and Madness offers friendly, down-to-earth instruction in the art and craft of fiction.

The Making of a Story: A Norton Guide to Creative Writing
ISBN: 0393337081

W. W. Norton & Company. 2010

A Los Angeles Times bestseller: wonderfully lucid and illuminating, Alice LaPlante’s guide to writing fiction “recalls Francine Prose’s bestseller, Reading Like a Writer” (Library Journal).

The Making of a Story is a fresh and inspiring guide to the basics of creative writing―both fiction and creative nonfiction. Its hands-on, completely accessible approach walks writers through each stage of the creative process, from the initial triggering idea to the revision of the final manuscript. It is unique in combing the three main aspects of creative writing instruction: process (finding inspiration, getting ideas on the page), craft (specific techniques like characterization), and anthology (learning by reading masters of the form). Succinct, clear definitions of basic terms of fiction are accompanied by examples, including excerpts from masterpieces of short fiction and essays as well as contemporary novels. A special highlight is Alice LaPlante's systematic debunking of many of the so-called rules of creative writing. This book is perfect for writers working alone as well as for creative writing classes, both introductory and advanced.

Turn of Mind
ISBN: 0802145906

Grove Press. 2012

A New York Times bestseller, Turn of Mind is a literary thriller about a retired orthopedic surgeon suffering from dementia and accused of killing her best friend. With unmatched patience and a pulsating intensity, Alice LaPlante's debut novel brings us deep into a brilliant woman’s deteriorating mind, where the impossibility of recognizing reality can be both a blessing and a curse.

When the book opens, Dr. Jennifer White’s best friend, Amanda, has been killed, and four fingers surgically removed from her hand. Dr. White is the prime suspect and she herself doesn’t know whether she did it. Told in White’s own voice, fractured and eloquent, a picture emerges of the surprisingly intimate, complex alliance between these life-long friends—two proud, forceful women who were at times each other’s most formidable adversaries. As the investigation into the murder deepens and White’s relationships with her live-in caretaker and two grown children intensify, a chilling question lingers: is White’s shattered memory preventing her from revealing the truth or helping her hide it?

A startling portrait of a disintegrating mind clinging to reality through anger, frustration, shame, and unspeakable loss, Turn of Mind examines the deception and frailty of memory and how it defines our very existence.

A Circle of Wives
ISBN: 0802122922

Grove Press. 2015

* An Indie Next Pick
* A LibraryReads Selection
* An Amazon Best Book of the Month (Mysteries & Thrillers)
* A Daily Candy Best Book of March
* One of More Magazine’s "Five Thrillers Not to Read After Dark"

When Dr. John Taylor turns up dead in a hotel room, the local police uncover enough incriminating evidence to suspect foul play. Detective Samantha Adams, whose Palo Alto beat usually covers petty crimes, is innocently thrown into a high-profile case that is more complicated than any she has faced before. A renowned reconstructive surgeon and a respected family man, Dr. Taylor was beloved and admired. But beneath his perfect façade was a hidden life—in fact, multiple lives. Dr. Taylor was married to three very different women in three separate cities. As the circumstances surrounding his death emerge, Detective Adams finds herself tracking down a murderer through a tangled web of marital deception and revenge. New York Times bestselling author Alice LaPlante’s haunting and complex novel of family secrets dissects—with scalpel-like agility—the intricacies of desire and commitment, trust and jealousy.


-- Turn of Mind

New York Times Bestseller and Editor's Choice

Wellcome Trust Book Prize - first work of fiction to win the Prize

Editor's Choice, Booklist

Summer Reading Pick, NPR, Oprah, Vogue and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Holiday Gift Guide Selection, San Francisco Chronicle, 2011

Best Book of the Year, Newsday, 2012

10 Best Thriller and Mystery Books, Amazon, 2012

Most Notable Fiction, Washington Post, 2012

Best Thrillers, The Guardian

Most Notable Books, Chicago Tribune, 2012

Top 25 Best in Fiction, Kirkus, 2012

Best Mysteries and Thrillers, Globe and Mail

Shelf Awareness Top Pick

2016 ILLINOIS READS BookA Circle of Wives

Indie Next Pick

LibraryReads Selection

Amazon Best Book of the Month (Mysteries & Thrillers)

Daily Candy Best Book of March

"Five Thrillers Not to Read After Dark", More Magazine