Morgenstern’s debut novel, ‘The Night Circus’, was published in September 2011. It is a phantasmagorical fairy tale of magic and romance set in an ahistorical late 19th century London.
The book has drawn comparison with the Harry Potter series, as well as the works of Neil Gaiman, Ray Bradbury, Susanna Clarke, and Steven Millhauser; it is not aimed at young adults, but has been recommended for teens. The first printing runs to 175,000, and the rights have been sold in 30 countries.
In an interview with the _School Library Journal_, Morgenstern describes the short, self-contained chapters as recapitulating the myriad tents of the circus, and the black and white with a splash of red motif as showing dangerous passion simmering just below the surface.
Erin Morgenstern was raised in Marshfield, Massachusetts and studied theater and studio art at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, graduating in 2000. In addition to writing, she paints, mostly in acrylics, including the _Phantomwise_ tarot deck. She signed with Inkwell Managemet in May 2010 after being rejected by thirty literary agents, and sold her debut novel to Doubleday in September 2010; The Night Circus was published in September 2011. She has participated in National Novel Writing Month since 2003, and first wrote about what would become _The Night Circus_ in November 2005. Morgenstern recently relocated to New York City.