Lauren Belfer is the New York Times bestselling author of four novels, most recently Ashton Hall, called “exquisitely illuminated” by Booklist. Bestselling author Fiona Davis described Ashton Hall as “A brilliant, immersive story rich with intrigue and historical detail, and a stunning achievement.”
Lauren’s debut novel, City of Light, was a New York Times Notable Book, a Library Journal Best Book, and a Main Selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club. Her second novel, A Fierce Radiance, was named a Washington Post Best Novel of the Year and an NPR Best Mystery of the Year. Her third novel, And After the Fire, received a National Jewish Book Award.
Lauren was born in Rochester, New York, and raised in Buffalo. She decided to become a writer when she was six years old, and she spent her early years crayoning short stories about heroic pets. By high school, she was writing poetry, and her extraordinary English teachers urged her to send her poems to literary magazines. She collected rejection letters from all the best places. Her first published short story was rejected forty-two times before it found an editor who loved it. Her second published story was rejected only twenty-seven times, which she interpreted as a tremendous success.
Lauren attended Swarthmore College, where she majored in Medieval Studies and Art History. After graduation, she worked as a file clerk at an art gallery, a paralegal at a law firm, an assistant photo editor at a newspaper, a fact checker at magazines, and as a researcher and associate producer on documentary films. She has an M.F.A. from Columbia University, and she lives in the historic Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City.
Lauren has spoken at in-person and virtual events around the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain, for libraries, universities, museums, community centers, and book clubs, and in front of audiences ranging from several hundred in an auditorium, utilizing multi-media presentations, to intimate gatherings of ten or twelve in a living room. She hopes that participants will leave her events feeling that the time was well spent and that they’ve learned something new about family, history, and how books can bring us together.