Author(s): Jeannette Walls
By age six, Lily Casey Smith was helping her father break horses. At fifteen, she left home to teach in a frontier town - riding five hundred miles on her pony, alone, to get to her job. She learned to drive a car and fly a plane. And, with her husband, Jim, she ran a vast ranch in Arizona. She raised two children, one of whom is Jeannette's memorable mother, Rosemary Smith Walls, unforgettably portrayed in The Glass Castle. Lily survived tornadoes, droughts, floods, the Great Depression, and the most heartbreaking personal tragedy. She bristled at prejudice of all kinds - against women, Native Americans, and anyone else who didn't fit the mold. Rosemary Smith Walls always told Jeannette that she was like her grandmother, and in this true-life novel, Jeannette Walls channels that kindred spirit.
One of four siblings, Jeannette Walls was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1960. Her family lived in various southwestern towns before settling in Welch, West Virginia when she was ten. She moved to New York City at age 17 and graduated from Columbia University's Barnard College with honors in 1984. She went on to become a reporter for New York magazine, Esquire and USA Today. She has appeared regularly on television, including the Today Show, CNN and PrimeTimeLive and is widely known as a former gossip columnist for MSNBC.com. She currently lives in northern Virginia and is married to writer John Taylor. Her memoir, The Glass Castle (2005) was a New York Times bestseller with movie rights optioned by Paramount (but as of October 2009 there is no sign of the movie entering production). Her next book, Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel, was published in October 2009.