Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Stephen Elliott  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: 1971 in Chicago, Illinois

-- Website --
-- Stephen Elliott on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Elliott is a native of Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Stephen Elliott spent the ages of 13 through 18 in state custody, growing up in juvenile detention facilities, group homes, and foster care. After being shunted through the various institutions run by the Illinois Department of Child & Family Services, Elliott came into the good care of the Jewish Children’s Bureau. From there, he went back to school and graduated from high school; earning a scholarship to the University of Illinois. After receiving his BA, he went on to Northwestern for an MA in Film Studies. In 2001, he was awarded the prestigious Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University. Currently, Elliott currently lives in San Francisco and teaches creative writing at Stanford University and has served as the Coordinator of the University’s Writer’s Studio. He is a frequent contributor to ''GQ'', ''Esquire'', ''The Village Voice'', the ''San Francisco Chronicle'', ''The Believer'', ''McSweeney’s'', ''The Sun'' and ''The Huffington Post''. Elliott is also the founder of ''The Progressive Reading Series'' which helps authors raise money and participate on behalf of progressive candidates and causes across the country. He also continues to be an advocate for reform in our child welfare system.

Published Works

  • A Life Without Consequences, MacAdam/Cage, 2001
  • What It Means to Love You, MacAdam/Cage, 2002
  • Looking Forward to It: Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love the American Electoral Process, Picador, 2004
  • Happy Baby (Hardcover), MacADam/Cage , 2005
  • My Girlfriend Comes to the City and Beats Me Up, Cleis Press, 2006
  • The Adderall Diaries, Graywolf Press, 2009

Selected Titles At Your Library

What it means to love you :
ISBN: 1931561184. OCLC Number:

MacAdam/Cage,. San Francisco :. ©2002.

Looking forward to it, or, How I learned to stop worrying and love the American electoral process /
ISBN: 0312424159. OCLC Number:

Picador,. New York :. 2004.

Stephen Elliott does not know what to think of American voters, this year's desperate and heated run for presidency, or the legitimacy of the political system. He doesn't know whether to love John Kerry or try to love Howard Dean or try, simply, to get excited about Politics. But what he does know is that most Americans are as confused, taxed and broken-hearted as he is.

Happy baby :
ISBN: 033043831X. OCLC Number:

Picador,. London :. 2005.

Theo is haunted by memories of his past and returns to Chicago to track down an old girlfriend.

My girlfriend comes to the city and beats me up /
ISBN: 1573442550. OCLC Number:

Cleis Press,. San Francisco :. ©2006.

The Adderall diaries :
ISBN: 1555975704. OCLC Number:

Graywolf Press,. Saint Paul, MN :. 2009.

In the spring of 2007, a brilliant computer programmer named Hans Reiser stands accused of murdering his estranged wife, Nina. Despite a mountain of circumstantial evidence against him, he proclaims his innocence. The case takes a twist when Nina's former lover, and Hans's former best friend, Sean Sturgeon, confesses to eight unrelated murders that no one has ever heard of. At the time of Sturgeon's confession, Stephen Elliot is paralyzed by writer's block, in the thrall of Adderall dependency, and despondent over the state of his romantic life. But he is fascinated by Sturgeon, whose path he has often crossed in San Francisco's underground S&M scene. What kind of person, he wonders, confesses to a murder he likely did not commit? One answer is, perhaps, a man like Elliott's own father. So begins a journey through a neon landscape of false confessions, self-medication, and torturous sex.


Happy Baby

  • Finalist, Young Lions Award
  • Silver Medal, California Book Award
  • Favorite Books of 2004, New York Newsday
  • Top 10 Books of the Year , Salon
  • Top 5 Books of 2004, Newcity Chicago
  • Favorite Books of the Year, Village Voice
  • Looking Forward to It

  • Favorite Books of the Year, Village Voice

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)