Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Ward Swift Just  

Pen Name: Ward S. Just, Ward Just


Audience: Adult;

Born: 1935 in Michigan City, Indiana

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Illinois Connection

Just was raised in Waukegan, In 1946, the family moved to Lake Forest.

Biographical and Professional Information

Ward Swift Just is a writer. He is the son and grandson of newspaper publishers, and the great grandson of Chicago mayor George B. Swift. From the time he was 14 years old, he worked summers at the family newspaper, ''The Waukegan News-Sun''. After attending Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, he returned to the family newspaper as a reporter. In 1959, he joined the Chicago bureau of Newsweek, and went on the bureaus in Washington and London. In 1965, he joined ''The Washington Post'' and became its Saigon correspondent later that year. He returned to Washington as a political reporter for the newspaper in 1967 and, in 1968, he became an editorial writer. The following year, he left the newspaper business with the intention of writing fiction. Since then, he has written many novels, collections of short stories, a play, a memoir, and a study of the United States Army. His work is also widely anthologized and has been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, and Russian. He currently resides in Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts.

Published Works

  • To What End, Houghton Mifflin, 1968
  • Military Men, Knopf, 1970
  • A Soldier of the Revolution, Knopf, 1970
  • The Congressman Who Loved Flaubert, Mariner Books, 1973
  • A Family Trust, Little Brown, 1978
  • Honor, Power, Riches, Fame and the Love of Women, Dutton, 1979
  • In the City of Fear, Viking, 1983
  • The American Blues, Viking, 1984
  • The American Ambassador, Houghton, 1987
  • Jack Glance, Houghton, 1989
  • Twenty-One Selected Stories, Houghton, 1990
  • The Translator, Houghton, 1991
  • Ambition and Love, Houghton, 1994
  • Echo House, Houghton, 1997
  • A Dangerous Friend, Houghton Mifflin, 1999
  • Lowell Limpett and Two Stories, Public Affairs, 2001
  • The Weather in Berlin, Houghton Mifflin, 2002
  • An Unfinished Season, Houghton Mifflin, 2004
  • Forgetfulness, Houghton Mifflin, 2006
  • Exiles in the Garden, Houghton Mifflin, 2009
  • Rodin's Debutante, 2011
  • American Romantic, Houghton Mifflin, 2014
  • The Eastern Shore, Houghton Mifflin, 2016

Selected Titles At Your Library

Military men
ISBN: 0394436172. OCLC Number:

Knopf,. New York,. 1970.

A soldier of the revolution /
ISBN: 1586480979. OCLC Number:

PublicAffairs,. New York :. 2002.

The congressman who loved Flaubert :
ISBN: 0395901375. OCLC Number:

A Mariner Book,. Boston :. 1998.

A family trust :
ISBN: 0316477230. OCLC Number:

Little, Brown,. Boston :. ©1978.

The passing of Amos Rising, town elder and editor of The Dement Intelligencer, leaves the Rising family without a patriarch and the town with a hole in its center. The ambitions and talents of the Risings, the changing face of the town and the life of the spirited, intelligent, and attractive Dana Rising fill the pages of this extraordinary novel. Ward Just's A Family Trust is about the public face and private souls of America's Heartland in the same way his other novels are about Germany, Vietnam, or Washington D.C.

Honor, power, riches, fame, and the love of women /
ISBN: 0525126759. OCLC Number:

Dutton,. New York :. ©1979.

In the city of fear /
ISBN: 0670396796. OCLC Number:

Viking Press,. New York :. 1982.

The American blues /
ISBN: 0670117129. OCLC Number:

Viking Press,. New York :. 1984.

The American ambassador /
ISBN: 0618340785. OCLC Number:

Houghton Mifflin,. Boston :. 1987.

William North is a devoted father and a successful foreign service officer who has spent many years abroad in service to his country. But his son, given every opportunity in life, has turned his back on father and fatherland and joined a West German terrorist organization.

Twenty-one :
ISBN: 0395537568. OCLC Number:

Houghton Mifflin,. Boston :. 1990.

The translator.
ISBN: 0395957664. OCLC Number:

Houghton Mifflin,. Boston :. 1999.

Ambition & love /
ISBN: 0395681960. OCLC Number:

Houghton Mifflin Co.,. Boston :. 1994.

The story of an artist who refuses to sell her soul. Georgia Whyte could have had success painting what was popular, instead she sticks to her ideals and it pays off. It also helps her find love. The story is told through the eyes of a slightly cynical, but admiring mystery writer who runs into her in Paris. By the author of The Translator.

Echo House /
ISBN: 0395901383. OCLC Number:

. .

Three generations of the Behls, a politically ambitious family in Washington. The three men are Adolph, a senator during the 1930s and failed vice-president; his son, Axel, a World War II OSS agent and later a Cold War warrior; and Alec a successful lawyer and lobbyist during the reign of President Kennedy. By the author of Ambition and Love.

A dangerous friend /
ISBN: 061805670x. OCLC Number:

Houghton Mifflin Co.,. Boston :. 1999.

An idealistic political scientist abandons his family to bring progress to 1965 Vietnam, only to wreck havoc with people's lives. Sydney Parade of Connecticut is unaware that the foundation employing him is a front for the Pentagon. By the author of Echo House.

Lowell Limpett :
ISBN: 1586480871. OCLC Number:

Public Affairs,. New York :. ©2001.

Lowell Limpett is a play about a journalist at the end of his career. The two short stories are about the players in the politics of Washington, D.C.

The weather in Berlin /
ISBN: 0618340793. OCLC Number:

Houghton Mifflin,. Boston :. 2002.

Tired of the studio intrigues of Hollywood, film director Dixon Greenwood heads for post-war Germany and becomes involved in the production of a television program that reunites him with an actress with whom he had worked thirty years before.

An unfinished season /
ISBN: 061856828x. OCLC Number:

. .

"Set in Eisenhower-era Chicago, 'An Unfinished Season' brilliantly evokes a city, an epoch, and a shift in ideals through the closely observed story of nineteen-year-old Wilson Ravan. In his summer before college, Wils finds himself straddling three worlds; the working-class newsroom where he's landed a coveted job, the whirl of glittering North Shore debutante parties where he spends his nights, and the growing cold war between his parents at home. With unparalleled grace, Ward Just brings Wils's circle to radiant life. Through his finely wrought portraits of a father and son, young lovers, and newsroom dramas, Just also stirringly depicts an American Political era."--Jacket.

Forgetfulness /
ISBN: 0618918493. OCLC Number:

Houyghton Mifflin Co.,. Boston, MA :. 2007.

A former spy for the CIA now living as a respected painter in the south of France, Thomas Railles finds his life turned upside down when his wife Florette is murdered, until he discovers that four Moroccan terrorists have been charged with the crime.

Exiles in the garden /
ISBN: 0547195583. OCLC Number:

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,. Boston :. 2009.

Settling in Georgetown after rejecting his family's life in politics, newspaper photographer Alec witnesses the émigré gatherings at the home of his next-door neighbors and watches the disintegration of his marriage upon his refusal of an assignment inVietnam.

Rodin's debutante /
ISBN: 0547504195. OCLC Number:

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,. Boston :. 2011.

Young Lee Goodell's life decisions--to become a sculptor, to sojourn in the mean streets of the South Side, to marry into the haute-intellectual culture of Hyde Park--play out against the crude glamour of midcentury Chicago and the meaning of his four years at Ogden Hall School.

American romantic /
ISBN: 0544538676. OCLC Number:

Mariner Books,. [Boston] :. 2015.

While on duty as a young foreign service officer in Indochina in the 1960s, Harry Sanders briefly meets a young German woman who changes the course of his life.

The Eastern Shore /
ISBN: 0544836588. OCLC Number:

. .

"From an American master comes another "beautifully languid, emotionally intense tale" (Entertainment Weekly), this time of a newspaper editor's fateful decision to expose a small-town fugitive. Ned Ayres, the son of a judge in an Indiana town in midcentury America, has never wanted anything but a newspaper career--in his father's appalled view, a "junk business," a way of avoiding responsibility. The defining moment comes early, when Ned is city editor of his hometown paper. One of his beat reporters fields a tip: William Grant, the town haberdasher, married to the bank president's daughter and father of two children, once served six years in Joliet. The story runs--Ned offers no resistance to his publisher's argument that the public has a right to know. The consequences, swift and shocking, haunt him throughout a long career, as he moves first to Chicago, where he engages in a spirited love affair that cannot, in the end, compete with the pull of the newsroom--"never lonely, especially when it was empty"--And the "subtle beauty" of the front page. Finally, as the editor of a major newspaper in post-Kennedy-era Washington, DC, Ned has reason to return to the question of privacy and its many violations--the gorgeously limned themes running through Ward Just's elegiac and masterly new novel"--


An Unfinished Season

  • Finalist, Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, 2005
  • American Heartland Prize for fiction, Chicago Tribune
  • Echo House

  • Finalist, National Book Award, 1997

    A Dangerous Friend

  • Finalist, PEN/Hemingway Award, 1999
  • Jack Gance

  • Heartland Award for Fiction, Chicago Tribune

    Short Stories

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (No)

    Contact Information Publisher-Houghton Mifflin 222 Berkley Boston, MA 02116