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Novelist, poet, and memoirist Paulette Jiles was born in Salem, Missouri, and raised in the Missouri Ozarks. She attended the University of Missouri where she earned a degree in Romance Languages. She moved to Canada when she was in her twenties to work as a journalist in the Canadian Arctic, and it was there that she won a Canadian Governor General Award (Canada’s highest literary honor) for her 1984 poetry collection, "Celestial Navigation." She returned to the United States in 1989 and still holds dual citizenship with Canada. In 2002 she won a Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize for her novel "Enemy Women." Jiles’s newest novel, "The News of the World," is her sixteenth published book.
Jiles currently resides on a small ranch outside San Antonio, Texas, where she writes and takes care of her two horses and one donkey and a cat. In her spare time she sings alto with her church choir and plays Irish tin whistle with a bluegrass group. With friends she has explored the Texas Big Bend country and Caprock Canyon on horseback, and rides the Ozark Trail every year.
Jiles says that “writing is a necessity and a joy.” She loves glittery and outrageous high heels, finds that stories often present themselves in one piece and that characters demand to be heard, and believes that poetry has taught her to “mind my prose style with minute care.”