Christina Baker Kline

Bestselling & Award Winning Novelist
Fiction & Young Adult Fiction
Travels from: New York, NY

“Christina was a wonderful story-teller. Her audience was with her from the minute she stepped up to the podium, to her concluding remarks.” – Literary Society of the Desert

Christina Baker Kline is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of eight novels, including The ExilesOrphan Train, and A Piece of the World; her books have been published in 40 countries.

Her novels have received the New England Prize for Fiction, the Maine Literary Award, and a Barnes & Noble Discover Award, among other prizes, and have been chosen by hundreds of communities, universities and schools as “One Book, One Read” selections. Her essays, articles, and reviews have appeared in publications such as the New York Times and the NYT Book Review, The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, LitHub, Psychology Today, and Salon.

Kline’s latest novel, The Exiles (2020), captures the hardship, oppression, opportunity and hope of a trio of women’s lives—two English convicts and an orphaned Aboriginal girl — in nineteenth-century Australia. A Piece of the World (2017), an instant NYT bestseller, explores the real-life relationship between the artist Andrew Wyeth and the subject of his best-known painting, Christina’s WorldOrphan Train (2013), about a little-known but significant piece of American history, spent more than two years on the NYT bestseller list, including five weeks at #1. Orphan Train and A Piece of the World have been optioned for film.

Kline has written six other novels — The Way Life Should Be, Bird in Hand, Desire Lines, Sweet Water, and Orphan Train Girl— and written or edited five nonfiction books: The Conversation Begins (with Christina L. Baker), Child of Mine, Room to Grow, About Face (with Anne Burt), and Always too Soon (with Allison Gilbert). Kline lives in New York City and in Southwest Harbor, Maine.

Christina’s Authors Unbound Profile:

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The Exiles

Custom House |
Novel

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

OPTIONED FOR TELEVISION BY BRUNA PAPANDREA, THE PRODUCER OF HBO’S BIG LITTLE LIES

“A tour de force of original thought, imagination and promise … Kline takes full advantage of fiction — its freedom to create compelling characters who fully illuminate monumental events to make history accessible and forever etched in our minds.” — Houston Chronicle

The author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Orphan Train returns with an ambitious, emotionally resonant novel about three women whose lives are bound together in nineteenth-century Australia and the hardships they weather together as they fight for redemption and freedom in a new society.

Seduced by her employer’s son, Evangeline, a naïve young governess in early nineteenth-century London, is discharged when her pregnancy is discovered and sent to the notorious Newgate Prison. After months in the fetid, overcrowded jail, she learns she is sentenced to “the land beyond the seas,” Van Diemen’s Land, a penal colony in Australia. Though uncertain of what awaits, Evangeline knows one thing: the child she carries will be born on the months-long voyage to this distant land.

During the journey on a repurposed slave ship, the Medea, Evangeline strikes up a friendship with Hazel, a girl little older than her former pupils who was sentenced to seven years transport for stealing a silver spoon. Canny where Evangeline is guileless, Hazel—a skilled midwife and herbalist—is soon offering home remedies to both prisoners and sailors in return for a variety of favors.

Though Australia has been home to Aboriginal people for more than 50,000 years, the British government in the 1840s considers its fledgling colony uninhabited and unsettled, and views the natives as an unpleasant nuisance. By the time the Medea arrives, many of them have been forcibly relocated, their land seized by white colonists. One of these relocated people is Mathinna, the orphaned daughter of the Chief of the Lowreenne tribe, who has been adopted by the new governor of Van Diemen’s Land.

In this gorgeous novel, Christina Baker Kline brilliantly recreates the beginnings of a new society in a beautiful and challenging land, telling the story of Australia from a fresh perspective, through the experiences of Evangeline, Hazel, and Mathinna. While life in Australia is punishing and often brutally unfair, it is also, for some, an opportunity: for redemption, for a new way of life, for unimagined freedom. Told in exquisite detail and incisive prose, The Exiles is a story of grace born from hardship, the unbreakable bonds of female friendships, and the unfettering of legacy.

Orphan Train Girl

Harper Collins |
Young Adult Novel

This young readers’ edition of Christina Baker Kline’s #1 New York Times bestselling novel Orphan Train follows a twelve-year-old foster girl who forms an unlikely bond with a ninety-one-year old woman.

This paperback includes:

  • author’s note
  • archival photographs from the orphan train era
  • mother-daughter book club questions

Molly Ayer has been in foster care since she was eight years old. Most of the time, Molly knows it’s her attitude that’s the problem, but after being shipped from one family to another, she’s had her fair share of adults treating her like an inconvenience. So when Molly’s forced to help a wealthy elderly woman clean out her attic for community service, Molly is wary.

But from the moment they meet, Molly realizes that Vivian isn’t like any of the adults she’s encountered before. Vivian asks Molly questions about her life and actually listens to the answers.

Soon Molly sees they have more in common than she thought. Vivian was an orphan, too—an Irish immigrant to New York City who was put on a so-called “orphan train” to the Midwest with hundreds of other children—and she can understand, better than anyone else, the emotional binds that have been making Molly’s life so hard.

Together, they not only clear boxes of past mementos from Vivian’s attic, but forge a path of friendship, forgiveness, and new beginnings.

A Piece of the World

William Morrow |
Novel

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“Exquisite. A must-read.”

–Kristin Hannah

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the smash bestseller Orphan Train, a stunning and atmospheric novel of friendship, passion, and art, inspired by Andrew Wyeth’s mysterious and iconic painting Christina’s World.

“Later he told me that he’d been afraid to show me the painting. He thought I wouldn’t like the way he portrayed me: dragging myself across the field, fingers clutching dirt, my legs twisted behind. The arid moonscape of wheatgrass and timothy. That dilapidated house in the distance, looming up like a secret that won’t stay hidden.”

To Christina Olson, the entire world was her family’s remote farm in the small coastal town of Cushing, Maine. Born in the home her family had lived in for generations, and increasingly incapacitated by illness, Christina seemed destined for a small life. Instead, for more than twenty years, she was host and inspiration for the artist Andrew Wyeth, and became the subject of one of the best known American paintings of the twentieth century.

As she did in her beloved smash bestseller Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline interweaves fact and fiction in a powerful novel that illuminates a little-known part of America’s history. Bringing into focus the flesh-and-blood woman behind the portrait, she vividly imagines the life of a woman with a complicated relationship to her family and her past, and a special bond with one of our greatest modern artists.

Told in evocative and lucid prose, A Piece of the World is a story about the burdens and blessings of family history, and how artist and muse can come together to forge a new and timeless legacy.

This edition includes a four-color reproduction of Andrew Wyeth’s Christina’s World.

Orphan Train

William Morrow |
Novel

The #1 New York Times Bestseller

“A lovely novel about the search for family that also happens to illuminate a fascinating and forgotten chapter of America’s history. Beautiful.”—Ann Packer

Moving between contemporary Maine and Depression-era Minnesota, Orphan Train is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of second chances, and unexpected friendship.

Between 1854 and 1929, so-called orphan trains ran regularly from the cities of the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest, carrying thousands of abandoned children whose fates would be determined by pure luck. Would they be adopted by a kind and loving family, or would they face a childhood and adolescence of hard labor and servitude?

As a young Irish immigrant, Vivian Daly was one such child, sent by rail from New York City to an uncertain future a world away. Returning east later in life, Vivian leads a quiet, peaceful existence on the coast of Maine, the memories of her upbringing rendered a hazy blur. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past.

Seventeen-year-old Molly Ayer knows that a community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping her out of juvenile hall. But as Molly helps Vivian sort through her keepsakes and possessions, she discovers that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they appear. A Penobscot Indian who has spent her youth in and out of foster homes, Molly is also an outsider being raised by strangers, and she, too, has unanswered questions about the past.

Fast and Furious Fiction & Memoir

Turning Life into Art

Writing About Family History

Turning Life Into Fiction

Why Do We Read? A Conversation

Memoir & Creative Nonfiction Workshop

Write Your Best Book: A Book-Proposal Workshop

Rejuvenate Your Writing Life

Surviving, and Thriving - As a Working Writer

Christina Baker Kline’s new video for The Exiles (out August 25, 2020)

The Exiles animated cover video with music by Hayden Kline

Hidden in Plain Sight: The Story of the Orphan Trains

Book Trailer: Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

The Orphan Trains

For Book Clubs – The Exiles

For Book Clubs – A Piece of the World

For Books Clubs – Orphan Train

Essays, Reviews and Stories by Christina Baker Kline

Honors, Awards & Recognition

#1 New York Times Bestseller
New England Society Book Award
Indiebound Bestseller
Nautilus Book Award
International Bestseller
2018 Maine Literary Award
Library Reads Pick

Media clips

“Best 100 Novels of 2020,” Kirkus, 11/20
“Our 51 Favorite Books of 2020,” Washington Independent Review of Books, 11/20
“2020 Great Group Reads Selection,” Women’s National Book Association, 10/20
“Fall’s Best New Historical Fiction Books, According to the Women who Wrote Them,” Parade, 9/20
“Fall Books: 12 Great Reads,” Newsday, 9/20
September 2020 “20 Great Reads” List (#4), Indie Next
“The Best Books of 2020,” Real Simple, 8/20
“Ten Most Anticipated Books for August,” HuffPost.com
“Bruna Papandrea to Develop Christina Baker Kline’s THE EXILES as TV Series (Exclusive),” Variety, 7/20
Female-Driven Production Company Options THE EXILES, Women and Hollywood, 7/20
“Earphones Award Winner for Outstanding Narration” by Caroline Lee, Audiofile Magazine, 8/20
“Books We’re Excited to Read This Fall,” New York Magazine (Vulture), 8/20
“Novels Everyone Will be Buzzing About This Fall (online); “Best Books of Fall 2020” (print),” New York Post, 8/20
“The Orphan Train Author Returns with a Moving Story Set in Australia (excerpt),” AARP.org, 9/20

“Bestseller/Bookseller Favorite,” Barnes & Noble, 8/20
“Christina Baker Kline on the responsibilities of writing historical fiction (Chicago Review of Books),” LitHub

“Make room in your TBR pile for these 20 books,” LitHub, 8/20
“BookMarks” RAVE, LitHub, 8/20
“Christina Baker Kline recalls her deep dive into Australian history while writing THE EXILES,” Poets & Writers, 8/20
“32 New Historical Fiction Novels Readers are Loving,” Goodreads, 8/20

“Six Great Books Hitting Shelves this Week,” Goodreads, 8/20
Satellite Sisters Best Beach Bag Books 2021, Satellite Sisters, 6/21 

“Bets On” Selection for 2020, Book Reporter
LibraryReads selection, LibraryLoveFest.com, 8/20
“What to Read Next: Most Anticipated New Releases,” HastyBookList.com, 7/20
“Can’t Wait to Read Wednesday,” ForeverLostinLiterature.com, 7/20
September Book Club Pick, “Wine&Words,” BookClubGirl.com
Must-Read Literary Fiction August 2020,” NewInBooks.com
“Book of the Month,” The Bookworm of Edwards (Vail, CO), 10/20

Media Kit

By clicking the link below your will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

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