HarperCollins Speakers Bureau

Jessica Shattuck

Novelist & Author of The Women in the Castle


  • World War II
  • Women in World War II
  • The German Resistance
  • How the Nazi Party Won Support
  • Nationalism
  • Immigration Politics



Jessica Shattuck is the award-winning author of The Hazards of Good Breeding, Perfect Life, and the novel The Women in the Castle (William Morrow).

In the evocative and utterly enthralling novel The Women in the Castle, set at the end of World War II, Shattuck tells the story of three widows whose lives and fates become intertwined. Combining piercing social insight and vivid historical atmosphere, The Women in the Castle is a dramatic yet nuanced portrait of war and its repercussions that explores what it means to survive, love, and, ultimately, to forgive in the wake of unimaginable hardship.

Shattuck’s writing has appeared in the New York Times, The New Yorker, Glamour, Mother Jones, WIRED, The Believer Magazine, The Boston Globe, Open CityThe Tampa Review, and The Sun, among others. She was the winner of The Frank O’Connor Short story Contest in 2001, and her book, The Hazards of Good Breeding was a finalist for the 2003 PEN/Winship Award, and a New York Times Notable Book. A graduate of Harvard University, she received her MFA from Columbia University.

Drawing from her in depth knowledge of history, the influences from her own family history, and her passion for storytelling and writing makes for an unforgettable event. Shattuck explores and offers a fresh perspective on one of the most tumultuous periods in history.

Currently, Shattuck resides with her husband and three children in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Praise for The Women in the Castle:

The Woman in the Castle is a vivid and gripping tale of endurance in the wake of World War II. Set primarily in Germany, Shattuck’s arresting novel focuses on three very different women who are forced to rely on one another as they attempt to survive the past and reclaim hope. The writing is magnificent, as is Shattuck’s ability to render unimaginable circumstances with tremendous clarity and compassion. A joy to read, this is a beautiful and important book.
-- Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, New York Times bestselling author of The Nest

“Shattuck unleashes a skewering gift for social commentary…[her] descriptive brio can leave the reader punchy with surprise and admiration.”
--Jennifer Egan, New York Times Book Review

“In graceful, lambent prose, Jessica Shattuck explores modern life, with all its moral ambiguity and complicated compromises, never judging, always illuminating. “
--Janice YK Lee