Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Amy Hassinger  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1972 in Frederick, Maryland

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Illinois Connection

Hassinger lives in Urbana.

Biographical and Professional Information

Amy Hassinger grew up in Massachusetts. She graduated from Barnard College in New York and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she received her MFA in fiction writing. She is the author of three novels. Her stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Arts and Letters, Salt Hill, Natural Bridge, and Blithe House Quarterly Online, and have been anthologized in Best Lesbian Love Stories. She is also the author of ''Finding Katahdin: An Exploration of Maine's Past''.

Hassinger taught English to middle school students, writing and literature to undergraduates, and is currently teaching at the University of Illinois and in the University of Nebraska’s low-residency MFA in Writing Program.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Finding Katahdin: An exploration of Maine's past
ISBN: 0891011013

University of Maine Press. 2001

This concise volume will benefit any reader who wants to learn about Maine's unique heritage. Used as a textbook for Maine Studies classes in many schools, Finding Katahdin: An Exploration of Maine's Past presents an articulate, thoughtful understanding of Maine history in a way that engages students and introduces them to the discipline of historical research and scholarship. Finding Katahdin explores Maine in its various incarnations: as a land of prehistoric hunters and gatherers a frontier where English, French, and Wabanaki cultures mix and clash a mecca for a shifting mosaic of loggers, fishermen, farmers, shipbuilders, artists, tourists, and others. Brilliantly written by Amy Hassinger, the narrative is exciting and varied, with sections of dialogue, excerpts from primary source documents, short biographies, and other devices that illuminate the history. The design of the text is graceful and straightforward, augmented with many illustrations of paintings, photographs, maps, and document reproductions.

Nina: Adolescence
ISBN: 0399150625

Putnam Adult. 2003

Still struggling with her toddler brother's death years earlier, fifteen-year-old Nina becomes the subject in a series of nude paintings by her haunted mother and is forced to deal with her burgeoning sexuality in front of a large and critical audience when the paintings go public. A first novel. 15,000 first printing.

The Priest's Madonna
ISBN: 0399153179

Putnam Adult. 2006

Inspired by the story of a southern French holy man who inexplicably came into wealth in 1896, the tale of Marie Dernanaud, a housekeeper who is rumored to be her priest employer's lover, recounts her struggles with faith and her knowledge about the secret source of his wealth. 25,000 first printing.

After the Dam
ISBN: 1597097535

Red Hen Press. 2016

Undone by motherhood, judged by her husband, thirty-two-year-old Rachel Clayborne flees with her baby in the middle of the night for the one place on earth that’s been her refuge: her grandmother’s lakehouse in northern Wisconsin. Hoping to reconnect with a former, healthier self, she instead faces a confused and dying grandmother, her ever-present nurse who seems bent on thwarting each of Rachel’s desires, and a changed ex-boyfriend―her first and most passionate love. As a constant rain threatens the nearby dam, Rachel struggles to discern what’s happened to the past, who she’s become, and what kind of a life she will make for herself now―one that clings to ghosts or opens bravely to a wild new geography.

From the acclaimed author of Nina: Adolescence and The Priest’s Madonna comes a gripping new novel that depicts the transformative power of motherhood with honesty, wit, and compassion.


Semi-finalist for the 2005 Julia Peterkin Award

Publisher's Weekly 2003 Listen Up! award

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)