View All Stories


View All News


Among the approximately 312,000 graduates of Boston University are a number of men and women who have distinguished themselves in their chosen profession. Statesmen. Journalists. Scientists. Theologians. Actors. Athletes. This summer, we’re bringing you photos of these notable alums.

This week we profile five award-winning and best-selling writers who have distinguished themselves in their chosen genre.

Sue Miller (GRS’80) is known for her complex characters and psychological detail. She was in her 40s when her first novel, The Good Mother (which she worked on while at BU), was published in 1986. It was later made into a film starring Diane Keaton and Liam Neeson. Among Miller’s other works are Inventing the Abbotts and Other Stories, Family Pictures, While I Was Gone (an Oprah’s Book Club selection in 2000), The Senator’s Wife, and most recently, 2014’s The Arsonist. Miller (above) speaking at the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Alumni Awards Luncheon in 2002. Photo by BU Photography


Stewart O’Nan (ENG’83) majored in aerospace engineering at BU and went to work for Grumman Aerospace Corporation before turning to fiction writing, earning an MFA from Cornell. His first book, the short story collection In the Walled City, was published in 1993. O’Nan has since written 17 novels, including A Prayer for the Dying, Wish You Were Here, Last Night at the Lobster, Songs for the Missing, and West of Sunset, a novel about F. Scott Fitzgerald’s final, poignant years in Hollywood, which is being adapted for the big screen. O’Nan’s latest novel, City of Secrets, was published in April. Photo by Beth Navarro


Jhumpa Lahiri (GRS’93, UNI’95,’97) garnered critical and popular acclaim, and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2000, for her first book, the short story collection Interpreter of Maladies. Her other works are the novels The Namesake (made into a film in 2006) and The Lowland; another short story collection, Unaccustomed Earth; and most recently, a work of nonfiction, the New York Times best-seller In Other Words. Lahiri (above) at Morse Auditorium in 2014, after delivering BU’s Ha Jin Lecture. Photo by Cydney Scott


Ha Jin, a former student in BU’s Creative Writing Program, is now its director. He has earned kudos from critics for his novels, poetry, and short stories. His novel Waiting, set in his native China and based on his experiences during five years in the Red Army, beginning at age 14, received the National Book Award in 1999. The recipient of two PEN/Faulkner Awards, for Waiting and for War Trash, and a PEN/Hemingway Award, for Ocean of Words, Jin was elected into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2006. His seventh novel, The Boat Rocker, is due out in October 2016. Jin (above) in his BU office in 2005. Photo by BU Photography