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Paula McLain
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Paula McLain

Paula McLain was born in Fresno, California in 1965. After being abandoned by both parents, she and her two sisters became wards of the California Court System, moving in and out of various foster homes for the next fourteen years. When she aged out of the system, she supported herself by working as a nurses aid in a convalescent hospital, a pizza delivery girl, an auto-plant worker, a cocktail waitress--before discovering she could (and very much wanted to) write. She received her MFA in poetry from the University of Michigan in 1996. Since then, she has received fellowships from the corporation of Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, the Ucross Foundation, the Ohio Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. Her first book of poetry, Less of Her, was published in 1999 from New Issues Press and won a publication grant from the Greenwall Fund of the Academy of American Poets. She's also the author of a second collection of poetry, Stumble, Gorgeous, a memoir, Like Family: Growing Up In Other People's Houses, and the novel, A Ticket to Ride. Her most recent book is The Paris Wife, a fictional account of Ernest Hemingway's first marriage and upstart years in 1920's Paris, as told from the point of view of his wife, Hadley. She lives with her family in Cleveland.

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Go Back in Time

Listen to some of our favorite quotes from Paula McLain's most captivating historical heroines.

Creating Memory from History

Where history books often fail—in the minute details and the inside emotions of a story—is where Paula McLain shines. She has taken on some impressive (and even intimidating) women from history and put a magnifying glass on their past. McLain's novels give voice to the internal dialogues of women who lived absolutely fascinating lives, but who, in their own time, may not have dared to reveal their true selves.

No one can really know the inner thoughts of Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley Richardson; fearless pilot Beryl Markham; or famous war correspondent Martha Gelhorn—but McLain has skillfully imagined the intimate details of their lives in her stories. Adding to her growing list of historical fiction masterworks is A Mind of Her Own, a story she wrote especially for Audible that lasers in on a brief period in the life of the twice-honored Nobel Laureate Marie Curie. Listening is like being in the head of that "woman before her time." A young, brilliant scientist, simultaneously struggling to get by and living an extraordinary life in Paris.

Perhaps the most daunting of Paula McLain’s literary journeys is the memoir that took her to the deepest parts of herself. Like Family tells the very true story of the 14 years McLain and her two sisters spent as foster children after being abandoned by both parents in California in the early 1970s. It’s heartbreaking—but beautifully written and important. I hugged my two sisters a little harder after listening. —Tricia, Audible Editor

Best Sellers

    • A Mind of Her Own

    • By: Paula McLain
    • Narrated by: Hillary Huber
    • Length: 1 hr and 15 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 19,592
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 17,668
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 17,641

    Paris, 1893. Twenty-five-year-old Marie Sklodowska is studying science at the Sorbonne - one of the only universities in the world that has begun to admit women. A thousand miles from her native Poland, with no money and the odds stacked against any woman....

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Based on a true story

    • By Kingsley on 03-01-19

    Regular price: $7.95

    • Love and Ruin

    • A Novel
    • By: Paula McLain
    • Narrated by: January LaVoy
    • Length: 11 hrs and 21 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 604
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 558
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 551

    The best-selling author of The Paris Wife returns to the subject of Ernest Hemingway in a novel about his passionate, stormy marriage to Martha Gellhorn - a fiercely independent, ambitious young woman who would become one of the greatest war correspondents of the 20th century....

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • A version of the Hemingway/Gelhorn relationship

    • By Kindle Customer' on 07-25-18

    Regular price: $35.00

    • Circling the Sun

    • A Novel
    • By: Paula McLain
    • Narrated by: Katharine McEwan
    • Length: 12 hrs and 17 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 3,709
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 3,347
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 3,346

    Brought to Kenya from England as a child and then abandoned by her mother, Beryl is raised by both her father and the native Kipsigis tribe, who share his estate....

    • 2 out of 5 stars
    • Pro: It made me want to read "West With the Night"

    • By Ilana on 08-01-15

    Regular price: $31.50

    • The Paris Wife

    • A Novel
    • By: Paula McLain
    • Narrated by: Carrington MacDuffie
    • Length: 11 hrs and 26 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 3,676
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 2,902
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 2,910

    The Paris Wife captures a remarkable period of time and a love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley.....

    • 1 out of 5 stars
    • Narration Issues

    • By Sara on 10-06-15

    Regular price: $28.00

    • Like Family

    • Growing Up in Other People's Houses, a Memoir
    • By: Paula McLain
    • Narrated by: Wendy Tremont King
    • Length: 9 hrs and 21 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 43
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 40
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 40

    This powerful and haunting memoir details the years Paula McLain and her two sisters spent as foster children after being abandoned by both parents in California in the early 1970s....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • A must read

    • By Amazon Customer on 03-29-19

    Regular price: $17.49

    • Lady Africa

    • By: Paula McLain
    • Narrated by: Anna Thalbach
    • Length: 7 hrs and 40 mins
    • Abridged
    • Overall
      3 out of 5 stars 1
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 1
    • Story
      3 out of 5 stars 1

    Stranger than Fiction: Das Leben der britischen Flugpionierin Beryl Markham. Paula McLain, gefeierte Autorin von Madame Hemingway...

    Regular price: $13.77

    • L'Aviatrice

    • By: Paula McLain
    • Narrated by: Odile Cohen
    • Length: 12 hrs and 36 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      0 out of 5 stars 0
    • Performance
      0 out of 5 stars 0
    • Story
      0 out of 5 stars 0

    Beryl Markham a deux ans lorsque sa famille s'installe au Kenya en 1904. Très vite abandonnée par sa mère...

    Regular price: $25.19

    • Hemingway und ich

    • By: Paula McLain
    • Narrated by: Vera Teltz
    • Length: 12 hrs and 12 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      0 out of 5 stars 0
    • Performance
      0 out of 5 stars 0
    • Story
      0 out of 5 stars 0

    Meisterhaft inszeniert Paula McLain die stürmische Beziehung zwischen Ernest Hemingway und seiner dritten Frau Martha Gellhorn...

    Regular price: $19.70

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