Sara Gruen: Biography

Sara Gruen

Sara Gruen (born in 1969, in Vancouver) is a Canadian author, who draws on her love of animals in most of her works. Her novels have been translated into 43 languages, and have sold more than ten million copies worldwide.

Gruen was raised in London, Ontario, and received a BA in English Literature from Carleton University in Ottawa. However, she didn't have the chance to practice it; instead she managed to parlay that into technical writing when she moved to the United States in 1999.

Sara Gruen is best known for her 2006 novel Water for Elephants, the Depression-era story about a travelling circus. The author researched circuses and animal behavior extensively before writing her book. Water for Elephants became a runaway hit, which was adapted into a 2011 film starring Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson, and earned Gruen a reported $5 million advance for her next two books. In 2015, it was optioned as a Broadway musical.

Three other Sara Gruen's novels chronicle human-animal relationships: her debut novel, Riding Lessons (2004), and its sequel, Flying Changes (2005), featuring horses; and Ape House (2010), featuring language-proficient bonobo apes.

Her new novel, At the Water's Edge (2015), is set in World War II Scotland, where three Americans travel to unearth the mystery of the Loch Ness monster. As in her previous works, Gruen has conducted extensive research in order to recreate the atmosphere of that bygone era.

Gruen has won several awards, including the BookBrowse Diamond Award Best Book 2006, the ALA/Alex Award 2007, and the Book Sense Book of the Year Award for Fiction 2007.

Sara Gruen lives in North Carolina with her husband, three sons and various animals. With her royalties, she supports many charitable organizations that protect and help animals.