Discipline: Literature

Brian Selznick

Discipline: Literature
Region: Brooklyn, NY
MacDowell Fellowships: 2009, 2018

Brian Selznick is the author and illustrator of many books for children, including The Invention of Hugo Cabret, winner of the Caldecott medal and the basis for the Oscar-winning movie Hugo, directed by Martin Scorsese. Kaleidoscope, a novel in short stories, was called a "lockdown masterpiece" by the New York Times, and his newest book “Big Tree,” inspired by an idea from Steven Spielberg, will be published April 4th. He’s also the author and illustrator of Wonderstruck, which was made into a movie by Todd Haynes with a screenplay by Brian. His book (his first for an adult audience), Live Oak, With Moss, is based on twelve poems by Walt Whitman.

Other books include The Marvels, The Doll People trilogy by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin, The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins by Barbara Kerley (winner of a Caldecott Honor) and Amelia and Eleanor Go For a Ride by Pam Munoz Ryan. Brian and his husband David Serlin collaborated on a 158 page beginning reader called Baby Monkey, Private Eye. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the beloved Harry Potter series, Brian created new covers and a box for all seven books.

Brian wrote the story for a new version of The Nutcracker at the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago, choreographed by Tony Award winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon. Christopher and Brian are currently collaborating with Ryan Scott Oliver on a musical of The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Brian has worked professionally as a puppeteer with Basil Twist, and he’s created three toy theater pieces directed by Dan Hurlin.

Brian graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1988. He got his start in children’s books as an independent bookseller at Eeyore’s Books for Children on Manhattan’s Upper West Side where he learned all about books from his boss Steve Geck, who is now an editor at Source Books. Brian used to paint and design the windows at the stores for holidays and book events.

At MacDowell, Brian worked on writing and illustrating a novel that takes place in New York City in the 1970s and the 1920s, which became Wonderstruck. His previous book,



Brian Selznick worked in the Nef studio.

Nef Studio, the first entirely new studio built after 1937, was donated by esteemed photographer, explorer, author, and MacDowell Fellow Evelyn Steffanson Nef in 1992. Endowed funds for the studio’s maintenance in perpetuity and an annual Fellowship for photographers were given in addition to funds for construction. Mrs. Nef said she had known about MacDowell all her…

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