Chris Bohjalian (pronounced bo-jail-yen) is the bestselling author of amazing fiction such as the Hour of the Witch and The Flight Attendant. His books include several New York Times bestsellers and one, Midwives, featured in Oprah’s Book Club. Bohjalian’s books are loved worldwide and have been translated into 35 languages. Three of his books have been made into films, and one is now an Emmy-nominated TV series on HBO Max starring Kaley Cuoco.
Are you ready to discover the work of Chris Bohjalian?
Who is Chris Bohjalian?
Chris Bohjalian is the son of an Armenian father and a Swedish mother. He, his wife, Victoria Blewer, and their one daughter, Grace Experience, live in Vermont.
After Chris graduated from Amherst College, he worked in New York City as an account representative for an ad agency. He and his wife eventually decided to relocate to Lincoln, Vermont, where Chris began writing articles for a local newspaper and magazine. His column won the Best Lifestyle Column award from the Vermont Press Association. He published his first novel, A Killing in the Real World, in 1988. His third book, Past the Bleachers, was published in 1992 and made into a television movie in 1995.
Looking back on his first attempts at writing, Bohjalian reflects that his first books were not so great. But he learned three lessons:
- The 10,000-hour rule posited by Malcolm Gladwell is real. During the creation of his first three books, he put in those 10,000 hours. He learned how to move his character and plot in the direction he wanted them to go.
- Writing is cause and effect; if this happens to the character, what will they do?
- Research is critical.
Bohjalian’s writing career gained considerable traction in 1998 when his fifth novel, Midwives, was featured as an Oprah’s Book Club selection. The plot revolves around midwife Sibyl Danforth and the legal battle following the death of one of her patients.
It topped the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists and was adapted into a film starring Sissy Spacek.
What has followed has been a long list of remarkable books that span a wide range of topics, characters, and settings. Mr. Bohjalian’s books are well-researched, well-written, and known for their complicated, misunderstood characters.
“All my books begin with a premise—often a character, but rarely the plot. I mean, alcoholic flight attendant wakes up next to a dead body in a hotel room far from home. Love story set in the midst of the Armenian Genocide. Young Puritan woman wants to divorce her husband for domestic violence. That’s often all there is.”Chris Bohjalian
Whether he pulls a topic from the headlines or history, his books are always entertaining and enlightening. He takes big stories and manages to make them personal and intimate in the lives of his characters. His stories span the centuries, from the Puritan era to WWI to the modern age. Whatever your interests or passions, Chris Bohjalian has a book for you.
Novels of Chris Bohjalian
Midwives is the story of Sibyl Danforth, a Vermont midwife, as told by her 14-year-old daughter, Connie. The year is 1981, and the season is the icy cold northeastern winter. Sybil’s patient dies during childbirth, and Sybil is forced to perform an emergency c-section to save the baby.
But what if the patient wasn’t actually dead? A trial ensues, and Sybil is forced to confront the scorn of traditional doctors, laws that are not in her favor, and the doubting voice of her own conscience. This book will keep you up reading late into the night. Sissy Spacek starred in a made-for-TV film based on this book.
Skeletons at the Feast, 2008
This work of historical fiction is set against the mass exodus of Germans attempting to escape the Soviet army’s advance on eastern Germany at the end of World War II. It’s a love story between Anna, a Prussian aristocrat, a Scottish POW named Callum, and Manfred, a Wermacht corporal. With the plight of European refugees again at the forefront of our minds, this book will remind you of the human consequences of war
Secrets of Eden, 2010
How does a devout pastor face his demons? How is the truth about a tragic domestic murder/suicide revealed? Can anything be salvaged from the wreckage? This thriller is full of twists and turns that will keep you guessing. Trust no one. Once you devour the book, you’ll want to enjoy the TV movie starring John Stamos as the beleaguered pastor.
The Sandcastle Girls, 2012
This memorable book is based on Chris Bohjalian’s grandparents’ story of surviving the Armenian Genocide. While it’s a work of fiction, the narrator is a fictional version of Chris, and the grandparents’ home is his grandparents’ home.
Approximately 1.5 million Armenians were killed during the events of 1915, nearly ¾ of all the Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire at the time. This book is a beautiful love story that sheds light on a tragedy many know nothing about. The author considers this to be his finest work, and chances are good that you’ll agree.
The Flight Attendant, 2018
What happens when an adventure-seeking flight attendant wakes up in a strange hotel room with a dead man? What happens is lies; one lie after another, until the inevitable day of reckoning arrives. This spine-tingling mystery moves gracefully between private struggles, spycraft, bad guys, action scenes, and redemption.
The Flight Attendant is a book that will keep you up at night, so be prepared. And, if you love the book, you’ll love the limited TV series starring Kaley Cuoco.
The Lioness, 2022
Jodi Picoult calls this book a perfect combination of Christie and Hemingway, and we think you’ll agree. It has suspense, a luscious African setting, the glamor of Hollywood, evil mercenaries, and a desperate plot that’s perfectly paced and unfolds one thrilling page after another. We predict this masterpiece will be one of your favorites this year.
List of Chris Bohjalian Books in Order
- A Killing in the Real World 1988
- Hangman 1991
- Past the Bleachers 1992
- Water Witches 1995
- Midwives 1997
- The Law of Similars 1998
- Trans-Sister Radio 2000
- The Buffalo Soldier 2002
- Before You Know Kindness 2004
- The Double Bind 2007
- Skeletons at the Feast 2008
- Secrets of Eden 2010
- The Night Strangers 2011
- The Sandcastle Girls 2012
- The Light in the Ruins 2013
- Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands 2014
- The Guest Room 2016
- The Sleepwalker 2017
- The Flight Attendant 2018
- The Red Lotus 2020
- Hour of the Witch 2021
- The Lioness 2022
Discover Chris Bohjalian
Have you read Chris Bohjalian? You can find all his remarkable titles, even his not-so-great early books, at Discover Books today. With free shipping and prices as low as $3.85, you can afford to try them all. Add Chris Bohjalian’s books to your cart today and discover your new favorite author.
Looking for other authors to explore? Try Amor Towles, Colleen Hoover, Alison Weir, and more.