About Annie Barrows
Annie Barrows’s collaboration with her late aunt Mary Ann Shaffer, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, has been a publishing phenomenon, resulting in well over one million copies in print in both hardcover and paperback, and speaking engagements for Barrows all over the country. People magazine called it “a small masterpiece about love, war, and the immeasurable sustenance to be found in good books and good friends.” Guernsey was on more than fifteen “best of the year” lists, and has now been published in twenty-five countries.
Annie Barrows was born in San Diego into a family of book lovers and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area shortly thereafter. She spent most of her childhood at the library; “because I wouldn’t leave, they hired me to shelve books at the age of twelve.” After attending UC Berkeley and getting a BA in Medieval History, she had a succession of publishing jobs, rising to the position of senior editor at Chronicle Books, where she acquired their first New York Times bestseller, Griffin & Sabine.
After receiving an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College, she began writing full time. The first book in her children’s series Ivy and Bean was published in 2006 and was an ALA Notable book for 2007; it was followed by four others, with the sixth book in the series to be published in fall 2009. Her 2008 stand-alone children’s novel, The Magic Half, was described by School Library Journal as “a delightful tale brimming with mystery, magic, and adventure.”
While Annie was producing her children’s books, her beloved aunt Mary Ann Shaffer, who had also spent her career working with books, had started a first novel about the German occupation of the Channel Island of Guernsey during World War II. However, she fell ill soon after selling the novel to the Dial Press, and to complete her revisions, she called on her niece Annie, who saw this “as a unique occasion to help someone I loved.” Sadly, Mary Ann died before seeing her novel embraced by hundreds of thousands of readers, but the novel itself stands as a moving legacy to her dream.
Annie lives in Northern California with her husband and two daughters. She is currently working on a novel for adults and a seventh Ivy and Bean book for children.