Book Description

A story of family, friendship, and art—and the past thirty years.


The Biographies of Ordinary People is the story of the Gruber family: Rosemary and Jack, and their daughters Meredith, Natalie, and Jackie. The two-volume series begins in July 1989, on Rosemary's thirty-fifth birthday; it ends in November 2016, on Meredith's thirty-fifth birthday.


Written for fans of Betsy-Tacy, Little Women, or A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, the story is an episodic, ensemble narrative that takes us into intimately familiar experiences: putting on a play, falling out with a best friend, getting dial-up internet for the first time. Drinking sparkling wine out of a paper cup on December 31, 1999 and wondering what will happen next.


At the heart of the story is Meredith Gruber, the oldest Gruber sister and the one determined to figure out how "ordinary people" should live--because all the biographies she's ever read are about famous people. She wants to write and act, and her younger sister Jackie wants to sing opera, and the two of them pursue their goals with both ambition and limitations.


"The Biographies of Ordinary People contains artful writing and delicately drawn characters who navigate through the universal tragedies and triumphs of everyday life. This first volume is deeply satisfying." - Foreword Clarion Reviews


"...Dieker excels at depicting how real people think and act." - Kirkus Reviews


"In the end, the book succeeds in drawing readers into this quiet world." - BlueInk Review

Book Details
List Price: $3.99
Print Length: 382 Pages
Publisher: Pronoun
Publication Date: May 23, 2017
Language: English
ISBN: 9781508057857

The Biographies of Ordinary People

The Biographies of Ordinary People

About the author

Nicole Dieker
Seattle, WA

Nicole Dieker is a freelance writer, a senior editor at The Billfold, and a columnist at The Write Life. Her work has appeared in Boing Boing, Popular Science, Scratch, SparkLife, The Freelancer, The Toast, and numerous other publications. The Biographies of Ordinary People is her debut novel, if you don't count the speculative fiction epic she wrote when she was in high school.