Sara Gruen

Canadian-American Writer

Sara Gruen is a Canadian-American bestselling author of contemporary novels and children’s books, best known for her animal-themed novel ‘Water for Elephants.’

Sara Gruen is a Canadian-American novelist best known for her novel Water for Elephants, a love story featuring humans and animals. She is a voice in Animal Rights activism which she also reflects in her novels and her funding of charitable organizations for the interest of animals and wildlife. She has gotten several awards for her novels, including the 2007 Alex Award,

Life Facts

  • Sara Gruen was born in Vancouver, Canada on June 26, 1969.
  • Sara Gruen has dual citizenship. She is Canadian by birth and a naturalized citizen of the United States.
  • She studied English Literature at Carleton University, Ottawa.
  • Sara Gruen has a large family with a husband, three sons, two dogs, four cats, two goats, and a horse.

Interesting Facts

  • Sara Gruen is a lover of animals and an Animal Rights activist
  • Beyond writing fiction, she is also a tech writer
  • Sara Gruen suffers many health challenges, including vertigo and Transient Global Amnesia
  • Sara Gruen claims she was a homeless street urchin at age 15
  • She is friends with a lot of famous people, including Jeff Bezos, the tech tycoon, and writer Abbot Kahler
  • She is the 2007 recipient of the Alex Award.

Early Life and Education

Sara Gruen was born on June 26, 1969, in Vancouver, which is in the British Colombia district of Canada. She grew up in London, Ontario. She claims she was left alone to fend for herself as a street urchin at age 15 but does not publicly give many details of the experience. She later moved to Ottawa, where she obtained tertiary education.

Sara Gruen studied English Literature at Carleton University in Ottawa. After her graduation, Gruen continued to live in Ottawa for some years before eventually moving to the United States in the year 1999.

Literary Career

Although Sara Gruen studied English Literature, her career as a professional writer did not begin in a literary genre, Gruen moved to the United States in 1999 and started working as a tech writer. It was when she was laid off from her tech writing gig in 2001 that she decided to start writing fiction. By the year 2004, Sara Gruen had completed and published her first novel titled Riding Lessons, which was promptly followed by a sequel in 2005 with the title Flying Changes.

Her third novel Water for Elephants was published in 2006 and became a New York Times Bestseller with many awards and accolades. In 2010, her fourth novel Ape House was published, and her fifth At the Water’s Edge was published in 2015.

In 2016, she published a children’s book titled Fawnie Stops Pushing Things Off. So far in her career, she has written a total of five novels and a children’s book. Animals feature recurrently in all of her books, proof that she is passionate about animals.

Gruen has not published another book since her last one in 2016. According to Gruen’s friend Abbot Kahler, Sara Gruen’s mental challenges as a result of her involvement in trying to free an incarcerated man called Charles Murdoch are the reasons for her lack of literary output since then.

Personal Life

Sara Gruen is married and lives in Ashville, North Carolina. She has a large family of a husband, three sons, two dogs, four cats, two goats, and a horse.

Sara has been involved in an attempt to get justice for a man called Charles Murdoch whom she believes was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder without a fair trial. Gruen’s involvement in trying to get justice for Murdoch has gone on for about seven years but Murdoch remains incarcerated.

Literary Influences

Sara Gruen said she grew up reading Victorian novels and several Canadian writers too. She also mentions Margaret Atwood as an author she loves, and listed Doris Lessing, Yann Micheal, D.H. Lawrence, and Mark Twain as some of her other favorites.

She also draws inspiration for her writing from personal experiences, interaction with animals, and research.

Literature by Sara Gruen

Explore literature by Sara Gruen below, created by the team at Book Analysis.