The Fault In Our Stars author John Green was born August 24, 1977 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Growing up in Orlando, Florida and Birmingham, Alabama, Green always knew he wanted to be a writer. But this ambition was not without difficulty and insecurity.
On his childhood, Green says, “Due to some malfunctioning brain chemistry and also due just to the nature of being a person, I often felt isolated and alone and scared. I was quite nerdy and dearly wished that I could be popular. I think I was quite difficult to be around – my insecurity and anxiety made it difficult for me to have straightforward, engaging social interactions with anyone, and I was really super self-absorbed.”
Green went on to graduate from Indian Springs School in Alabama and received a B.A. from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, where he double-majored in English and Religious Studies. After graduation, Green began work as a publishing assistant and production editor for Booklist Magazine, a book review journal. With the mentorship and moral support of his editor, Ilene Cooper, Green realized he could be capable of writing.
After living in New York and Chicago, Green eventually settled back in his birthplace, Indiana, Indianapolis, where he wrote the bulk of his fifth and most commercially successful novel to date, The Fault In Our Stars, which debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times Bestseller List. The romantic drama centers on Hazel, a 16-year-old living with thyroid cancer. After Hazel’s parents convince her to attend a support group for cancer patients, she meets and falls in love with Gus, an amputee and former cancer patient.
Green was inspired to tell Hazel’s story after working as a student chaplain at a children’s hospital. Wanting to capture the patient’s humanity and the truth of their emotions, Green rejected narratives that “oversimplified, dehumanized” or alienated the sick and dying as fundamentally “other.”
The author found further inspiration from Esther Earl, a teenage girl, who, like Hazel, battled thyroid cancer. Over the course of her four-year battle, Hazel befriended Green and inspired countless others. Green dedicated his novel to Hazel, who passed away at age 16 in August 2010, over a year before the novel was released.
In August 2009, Green began work on a new book entitled The Sequel, which he ultimately scrapped. Instead, the author integrated elements of the unfinished story into The Fault In Our Stars, which was published in January 2012, becoming the author’s fifth novel. He has previously released Looking For Alaska (2005), which won the 2006 Printz Award; An Abundance of Katherines (2006) and Paper Towns (2008). He has also authored one of the segment stories in the compilation novel Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances (2008) and co-authored Will Grayson, Will Grayson (2010) with David Levithan.
Green has won numerous awards and honors for his publications, including the Edgar Allen Poe Award, the Corine Literature Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and Teen Book of the Year at the 2013 Children’s Choice Book Awards. In 2014, Time aagazine listed Green as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world.
Only two and half years since The Fault In Our Stars hit bookshelves, the hit novel was adapted and released as an equally popular feature film, enchanting audiences to tears with stars Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort as Hazel and Augustus, respectively. Thanks to rave reviews by critics and high attendance by fans both of the book and the film’s romantic premise, the film was No. 1 at the box office on opening weekend.
Green recently announced a film adaptation of his novel Paper Towns was in the works and would feature The Fault In Our Stars actor Nat Wolff. Also returning would be the film’s writers, producers and studio.
In addition to his writing achievements, Green and his brother, Hank, are popular video bloggers, who upload films on a variety of subjects to their YouTube channel, vlogbrothers. Their uploads have been viewed over 200 million times. ~Daniel Horowitz