Writing Biography


Anthony Weller was born in Macon, Georgia, USA, on September 18, 1957, the son of Gladys Lasky, a British ballet teacher and scholar, and George Weller, an American foreign correspondent and novelist, the winner of a Pulitzer Prize. His childhood was spent in Georgia, in the Bahamas, in coastal Massachusetts, and on frequent travels in Europe. He was educated at Phillips Exeter Academy (’75) and Yale University (B.A., Music, ’80). He then moved to New York to get started as a writer and musician.

His first literary love was poetry and he was fortunate enough, at age nineteen, to fall under the tutelage of a great poet, Peyton Houston. His poems have appeared in Yankee, The Saturday Evening Post, Chelys, Pendulum, Light, Erizu, Infinity Three, and the Lace Neck Review. He was given a New York State CAPS Grant for Poetry (1983) and an award of the Academy of American Poets (1980), and was runner-up in The Nation-92nd St. Y. Poetry Competition (1979). More recently, he was a Guest Writer at the Flagstaff (Arizona) Bookfest for 2000.

While in New York he began to work as a journalist, traveling extensively throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, the South Pacific, Central America, and the Caribbean. Over the years he has written over one hundred and fifty articles for National Geographic Traveler, The Paris Review, Forbes, GEO, The New York Times Magazine, G.Q., Conde-Nast Traveler, Gourmet, Harpers, Playboy, Vogue, Architectural Digest, Smithsonian, Pan, Delta-Sky, Esquire, Merian, Guitar Review, New York, Travel & Leisure, and many other magazines. He received a Lowell Thomas Award for foreign reporting in 1993. After five years in New York he moved to Amsterdam and then to Paris. During this time he was able to spend a few months each year in Kyrenia, in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, doing his own writing.

Having first published professionally at age thirteen (an anthology of science fiction), and despite the appearance of several short stories throughout his twenties, it took Weller another decade and a persistent literary agent to sell a novel. In 1996 Marlowe & Co. published The Garden of the Peacocks; in 1997 a travel memoir of India and Pakistan, Days and Nights on the Grand Trunk Road: Calcutta to Khyber; and in 1998 another novel, The Polish Lover. Thus, by a peculiar irony, work that had taken over twelve years to write appeared over the course of eighteen months. Another novel, The Siege of Salt Cove, was published by W. W. Norton in 2004. His fourth novel, The Land of Later On,appeared in autumn 2011.

Anthony edited and wrote a long essay for First into Nagasaki: The Censored Eyewitness Dispatches on Post-Atomic Japan and Its Prisoners of War (Crown, 2006, introduction by Walter Cronkite). This was the reporting by George Weller, utterly blocked at the time [September 1945] and thought lost to history until Anthony found copies among his late father's papers. Acclaimed by historians worldwide, it was named by Kirkus one of the best books of the year. In 2009 Anthony edited an enormous follow-up compilation for Crown of his father's finest 1941-45 reporting, Weller's War: A Legendary Correspondent's Saga of World War II on Five Continents.

Anthony teaches workshops in fiction, memoir, and travel writing, in Cape Ann, Massachusetts (July & August). He is also available for editing and counsel on manuscripts of any length.


For information about his Writing Workshops, or to read his journalism, please visit www.writeweller.com.


WHAT THE CRITICS SAY


THE GARDEN OF THE PEACOCKS


“Passionate, mysterious, and magical, like its island setting. A wonderful debut.”
— Paul Theroux, author of The Mosquito Coast

“A first novel that does not read like one. Anthony Weller is a musician, a writer and an American explorer. In his writings he is at once adventurous and musical: his words are an outpost of fiction in the wild.Weller, the naturalist in the Caribbean, has learned, like a Pope of the islands, that the proper study of mankind is man—and women too. His novel is darkly wise and rudely enjoyable. It is the best of reads.”
— G. Cabrera Infante, author of Three Trapped Tigers

“Artists are not easy to invent convincingly. . . [yet the old man] is as willful, self-obsessed, and self-chastising as you could wish. . . Weller organizes his material deftly, interweaving the viewpoints and stories. . . There are rich descriptions of subtropical seascapes and of the light and shade of the islands. The atmosphere is palpable and effective. . . one should read it, like many other island tales in the history of literature, as a fable.”
— Alan Hollinghurst, The New York Times Book Review

“Weller’s talent is one to be reckoned with—the ability to explore difficult fictional terrain, infusing an intriguing tale about past hurts and imprisoning secrets with poetry and passion. . . its bright images of an island paradise, and its echoing sorrows, haunt the heart.”
Tallahassee Democrat

“An exquisite and intricate novel that ranges from Havana to New York, Barcelona to the Bahamas. Spanning five decades, it follows a father and daughter haunted by artistic genius, exile and suicide. . . illuminates unforgettably the sacrifices and deep contradictions behind great art—and the heavy price paid for immortal beauty by those around it.”
Midwest Book Review



DAYS AND NIGHTS ON THE GRAND TRUNK ROAD: CALCUTTA TO KHYBER


“Intrepid, perceptive, intelligent, and very funny, Anthony Weller is a superb navigator through the tides of life and history in India and Pakistan. His vivid eye, questing spirit and, above all, his graceful writing make this extraordinary journey into both violence and serenity a reader’s delight.”
— Ronald Wright, author of Stolen Continents

“Stimulating and keenly observed.”
— Shashi Tharoor, author of The Great Indian Novel

“A wonderful, lyrical writer, Weller takes things as they come and delivers with thoughtfulness and style. Rich, engrossing detail. . . an absorbing, mind-boggling read.”
Forbes

“Weller has done an excellent job bringing us life in northern India and Pakistan; he has found its humor and its tragedies. Weller’s eye is sharp, his use of anecdote entertaining and illuminating. Anyone wishing a fresh picture of modern realities in the subcontinent—the Congress Party’s defeat in India, Mrs. Bhutto’s fall from power or the emergence of Taliban—will find instruction in Weller’s superbly written account. . . I recommend the book to any reader—from a newcomer to the subcontinent to an informed scholar or commentator.”
— Frank G. Wisner, former U.S. ambassador to India

“Make no mistake about the courage and intelligence behind this wryly observed travelogue . . . an account brimming with beauty and strangeness.”
Kirkus


THE POLISH LOVER


“Obsession, alienation, and sensual beauty are coolly limned in Weller’s elegant second novel. . . clever variations [and] adroitly-scored passages on the questions of identity, love, and the truth. . . an ambitious novel about profound matters.”
Kirkus Reviews

“The story of the Polish beauty is gripping, with overtones of the mysterious. It reads very well: the scenes in the dense atmosphere of late Communist-era Warsaw are excellent; the slow and then sudden deterioration of the relationship are well handled, with surprise and bitterness. The central character is wonderful. . . and of course the jazz scenes, the recording in the obsolete Warsaw studio. The writing about music is superb.”
— Josef Skvorecky, author of The Engineer of Human Souls

“Anthony Weller, being a jazz musician, understands the creating of the music and the hazards of the life—and The Polish Lover is filled with both.”
— Herb Pomeroy (trumpet)

“An intelligent and well-written novel, slowly gripping the reader as the roads through Warsaw and Cracow become slicker, more fogbound, more difficult to navigate. At that point, we let go and let Weller guide us through.”
North Shore

THE SIEGE OF SALT COVE


“Delightful . . . a gloriously strange novel, both whimsical and brooding.”
People

The Siege of Salt Cove is an opera on the page, lyric and satiric and finally erotic. Weller’s topic is politics amuck. But his larger theme is siege and stalemate—and our group yearning for true contact with each other.”
— Mark Costello, author of Big If

“What a delightful gathering of odd, irascible, eccentric, and often brilliant voices. Together, they project an ingenious, darkly comic montage of modern civilization on the microcosmic screen of Salt Cove, Massachusetts. Weller is a wonderfully strange and eclectic collector of shards, minutiae, systemic absurdities, insidious schemes. This book may remind you of writers like Vonnegut, Irving, and Joseph Heller, but Weller’s voices and vision are all his own.”
— Brad Watson, author of The Heaven of Mercury

“The story, told by an assortment of townsfolk, is humorous—and that’s before one even considers the allusions to Shakespeare and classical mythology. This is a very strange book but a splendid one, too—surreal, weird, utterly playful.”
Booklist

“Weller (The Garden of the Peacocks, etc.) spins a simple premise into gold in this delightfully written, darkly comic novel. Salt Cove, an old fishing port an hour north of Boston, has everything a classic New England beach village should: a picturesque cove with bobbing sailboats, austere granite outcroppings, stone beaches and traditional architecture, including a dilapidated but still lovely 19th-century wooden pedestrian bridge. When the Massachusetts Department of Public Works decides the bridge must be replaced by a safer—and far uglier—‘concrete structure,’ the Salines vow to fight. After a period of failed negotiation and escalating conflicts, the villagers decide their only option is to secede from the United States. Weller lets the tale unfold through 39 individual characters, each of whom narrates one or more first-person chapters. The chief historian and chronicler is Jessica Stoddard, an elder longtime resident whose notes and comments provide the novel’s sturdy backbone. The hero and leader of the rebellion is Toby Auberon, a reclusive ex-lawyer who lives in the local lighthouse and is obsessed with constructing ‘the greatest pinball machine ever created.’ The conflict escalates after Salt Cove secedes, and the villagers scramble to arm themselves and figure out why the state is so determined to tear down their bridge. The novel’s time is fluid, slipping easily between past, present and future, and Weller adds a touch of magic realism as he allows several characters to speak from beyond the grave. While this all might sound confusing, it isn’t. Weller is in complete control of his material, a master conductor creating a symphony out of what would have been, in lesser hands, a simple melody.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)


FIRST INTO NAGASAKI:
THE CENSORED EYEWITNESS DISPATCHES
ON POST-ATOMIC JAPAN AND ITS PRISONERS OF WAR


“Sixty years after their suppression by military censorship, a Pulitzer Prize correspondent’s lost Nagasaki files remain potentially explosive. Working from smudged carbons, long presumed lost but found after his father’s death at 95 three years ago, Anthony Weller has recreated, edited and annotated a body of reports that retain the capacity to shock the American public and foment controversy. They offer a grimly graphic picture of devastation . . . A stark confrontation, rich in evocative anecdotal material that recalls the war in the Pacific with amazing immediacy.”
Kirkus (starred review; named one of the Best Books of 2006)

“A thrilling read. George Weller is a genuine correspondent, with letter-like intimacy that conveys respect for readers . . . And Anthony Weller’s explications retain the old man’s bulldog toughness and beautiful touch.”
Anchorage Daily News

“A powerful set of historical documents . . . Anthony Weller’s intelligent concluding essay provides the framework for his father’s raw copy.”
The Wall Street Journal


WELLER’S WAR:
A LEGENDARY FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT’S SAGA
OF WORLD WAR II ON FIVE CONTINENTS


Weller’s War is a collection of stories—great stories, written by a great correspondent. These tales of heroism, fear, loss, national dreams, and an international nightmare are some of the finest ever told. And this collection, annotated by the correspondent’s son, Anthony Weller, secures the father’s place among the most gifted storytellers ever born.”
The Boston Globe
 
“[Weller] reported it all in an urbane, understated style that never palls. He had no sense of himself as a Great Journalist—which perhaps is why he was one. This anthology, edited by his son, should give him the recognition his work merits.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“[A] humbling reminder of what an important contribution to our understanding of the world a really good ‘traditional’ reporter can offer . . .The great power of Weller’s reporting lies in his ability to convey a vivid sense of how the war felt on the ground (or on the sea and in the air) to those fighting it—and to those civilians caught up in its whirlwind. His eye for detail, his ability to let those he encounters tell their stories and his descriptive power bring all too alive the scary, messy, relentless, bloody business of warfare. His courage and sheer resilience were remarkable . . . We must hope there will always be people such as George Weller with the skills and the spirit to tell the world the often tortured stories of itself.”
Financial Times

“Readers will be immediately struck by the profound difference between Weller’s coverage of armed conflict and the sort typically seen on television today. The cultured, cosmopolitan, multilingual journalist strove to present not just the images and events of a world war but the political machinations behind its gruesome twists and turns . . . Adds scope, analysis and emotional immediacy to a critical body of history.”
Kirkus (starred review)