tatjana soli


The Short Version…

Tatjana Soli is a novelist and short story writer. Her bestselling debut novel, The Lotus Eaters, winner of the James Tait Black Prize, was a New York Times Notable Book for 2010, and finalist for the LA Times Book Award among other honors. Her second book, The Forgetting Tree, is a New York Times Notable Book for 2012. Her stories have appeared in ZyzzyvaBoulevard, and The Sun. Her work has been twice listed in the 100 Distinguished Stories in Best American Short Stories. She lives in the Monterey Peninsula area of California.


Her debut novel, The Lotus Eaters, was published in 2010 and was reviewed on the cover of The New York Times Book Review. It went on to become a NYT Bestseller, win awards and has a still-growing readership. It tells the story of an American female combat photographer in the Vietnam war. Tim O’Brien, National Book Award-winning author of The Things They Carried, wrote of it: “Set amid the twin infernos of Cambodia and Vietnam in the early 1970’s The Lotus Eaters draws the reader into a haunting world of war, betrayal, courage, obsession, and love.” Robert Stone, NBA-winning author of Dog Soldiers, wrote “…a vivid and memorable evocation of wartime Vietnam.” Selected as a New York Times Notable Book, it went on to win the James Tait Black Prize, the oldest award in the UK, and also was a finalist for the LA Times Book Award.

Soli’s second, The Forgetting Tree, was published in 2012. Jane Smiley, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Thousand Acres, reviewing it in the New York Times, wrote The Forgetting Tree was “Daring… haunting… even a remote citrus ranch can be a crossroads where cultures collide, and those collisions can be life-changing for everyone involved.” The story centers around Claire Baumsarg, who refuses to leave her beloved citrus ranch even after tragedy strikes, and her relationship to Minna, the beautiful, mysterious girl who cares for her. The Daily Beast wrote, “Soli’s prose is reminiscent of Eudora Welty’s. Like that writer, Soli’s sentences are tied to the land.” The Forgetting Tree also had the honor to be named a New York Times Notable Book.

Soli’s third novel, The Last Good Paradise, will be published in early 2015. It is the story of an LA power couple whose version of the American Dream is crumbling. They run away to a South Seas island in the remote Tuamotu Archipelago, and there meet an assorted group of self-exiled characters. Rumors are there is a lot of cooking and nudity involved in the book.