Ben Shattuck

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Ben Shattuck
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Massachusetts, United States
CitizenshipUnited States of America
Alma materCornell University
Iowa Writers' Workshop
  • Writer
  • Curator
Spouse(s)Jenny Slate (2021-present)

Ben Shattuck is an American writer, Painting, and curator[1][2] who is married to the Actor Jenny Slate.[3][4] His memoir Six Walks from Tin House[5] was named an editor's pick by The Rumpus and "must-read book" by Town & Country (magazine). For his Short story, he won a PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize from PEN America,[6] a Pushcart Prize,[7] and a Bread Loaf scholarship. His short story set in World War I "The History of Sound" is being turned into a feature film by Oliver Hermanus starring Paul Mescal and Josh O'Connor.[8][9]

Early life and education

Shattuck was born and raised in Massachusetts and lived right next to the sea.[10] His parents, who originally met in New York, both work in the arts in Massachusetts[11]; his mother, Dedee, owns an art gallery, while his father, Bill, is a painter.[12] Shattuck attended Deerfield Academy for high school, Cornell University for college, and the Iowa Writers' Workshop for his Master of Fine Arts in fiction.[13][14] He taught fiction writing while at the University of Iowa as a graduate teaching assistant, and then at Victoria University of Wellington.


Shattuck's first book Six Walks received a starred review from Publishers Weekly,[15] a positive review from Kirkus Reviews,[16] and praise from Bill McKibben, Nick Offerman, Hernan Diaz (writer), Karen Thompson Walker, and Nathaniel Philbrick.[17][18] The memoir tracks the author's retracing of six walks taken by Henry David Thoreau, which brings about personal memories and emotional insights.[19]

He currently serves as the director and curator of Dedee Shattuck Gallery, which is owned by and named after his mother.[20][21] He also continues to paint, exhibiting in galleries including the Sloane Merrill Gallery in Boston[22] and the Greylock Gallery in Willamstown.[23] Shattuck has a brother named Will and in 2021, they bought the general store in their hometown, which was originally built in 1793.[24][25]

Short stories and essays by Shattuck have been published in The Rumpus,[26] The New Republic,[27][28] The Paris Review Daily,[29],[30] McSweeney's,[31] and Literary Hub.[32] His reported essay "There Once Was a Dildo in Nantucket" was Literary Hub's fifth most read story in 2015.[33] His 2016 short story from Harvard Review, “Edwin Chase of Nantucket," won an award for debut authors from PEN America. In an interview with Catapult, Shattuck said he started the story in 2013.[34] It was his first published short story.[35] His 2018 story "The History of Sound" from The Common (magazine)[36] was published in the Pushcart Prize anthology,[37] and is being adapted to film and distributed through End Cue, Embankment Films, and Film4 Productions.[38][39] In 2021, Oliver Hermanus said of his decision to adapt the story and direct the film: “I instantly fell in love with Ben Shattuck’s flawlessly beautiful short story and knew I had to be involved in its journey to the screen."[40] When the casting was revealed as two romantic leads played by Emmy Awards Josh O'Connor and British Academy of Film and Television Arts winner Paul Mescal, there was controversy about whether two straight actors should play gay characters.[41][42][43] Filming for the movie is schedule for summer 2022 in the United States, United Kingdom, and Italy.[44][45]

His second book, a short story collection with the same title, The History of Sound, is set in New England across multiple centuries and will be published with an imprint of Viking Press.[46]

Personal life

In 2019, Shattuck's girlfriend Jenny Slate revealed that they were living together in Massachusetts, where she was also born and raised.[47] They two got engaged after Shattuck proposed during a picnic at a French castle later that year.[48][49] Their daughter Ida Lupine Shattuck was born in late 2020.[50][51][52] Their wedding was postponed three times due to the COVID-19 pandemic,[53][54] and they married in their living room on December 31, 2021.[55]

Shattuck knows how to play the banjo, and he goes birdwatching.[56] He lost the tip of his finger on his dominant left hand while crossing ice carrying a boat.[57] He has invited a paranormal team into a family home and written about the experience.[58]


  1. (2019-11-12). "A Curator Boyfriend is the Hottest Accessory for 2020". ELLE. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  2. Langmann, Brady (2019-09-11). "Jenny Slate's Fiancé Ben Shattuck is Living Out Every English Major's Dream". Esquire. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  3. published, Dana Schwartz (2022-01-18). "Jenny Slate on Marriage, Movies, and Mollusks". Marie Claire Magazine. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  4. larryfitzmaurice. "Jenny Slate Revealed That She Secretly Married Ben Shattuck On New Year's Eve In Their Own Home". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  5. "Six Walks". Tin House. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  6. "2017 PEN/ROBERT J. DAU SHORT STORY PRIZE FOR EMERGING WRITERS". PEN America. 2017-01-17. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  7. "Announcing Our Pushcart Prize Win". The Common. 2019-05-07. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  8. Ritman, Alex; Ritman, Alex (2021-10-29). "Josh O'Connor, Paul Mescal Teaming for Romance 'The History of Sound'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  9. Lopez, Kristen; Lopez, Kristen (2021-10-30). "Josh O'Connor and Paul Mescal Set to Star in Historical Romance 'The History of Sound'". IndieWire. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  10. "Write the World". Write the World. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  11. Murphy, Linda. "Dedee Shattuck Gallery thriving in Westport". Fall River Herald News. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  12. Boyce, David B. "Ben Shattuck soars at career's start". New Bedford Standard-Times. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  13. Shattuck, Ben. "Ben Shattuck". Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  14. "Ben Shattuck". Dedee Shattuck Gallery. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  15. "Six Walks: In the Footsteps of Henry David Thoreau by Ben Shattuck". 2022-04-19. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  16. SIX WALKS | Kirkus Reviews.
  17. "Six Walks". Tin House. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  18. "AT SKYLIGHT: BEN SHATTUCK presents SIX WALKS: IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF HENRY DAVID THOREAU, in conversation with JENNY SLATE | Skylight Books". Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  19. WRAL (2022-03-28). "Spring Books from Small Presses :: Out and About at". Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  20. Garvey, Marianne (2019-09-10). "Jenny Slate is engaged to art curator boyfriend Ben Shattuck". CNN. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  21. January 29, Ale Russian; Pm, 2019 02:07. "Jenny Slate Cozies Up to Hunky Art Gallery Curator One Year After Chris Evans Split". Retrieved 2022-04-05.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  22. "Ben Shattuck — Exhibitions". Sloane Merrill Gallery. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  23. "Ben Shattuck - Greylock Gallery". Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  24. "Fall River Herald News". Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  25. Tallman, Kerri. "Shattuck brothers preserve small-town feel at Davoll's General Store in Dartmouth". New Bedford Standard-Times. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  26. "Ben Shattuck". The Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  27. Shattuck, Ben (2016-04-14). "Sailor's Delight". The New Republic. ISSN 0028-6583. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  28. Shattuck, Ben (2017-06-28). "Maartje Wortel Has Mastered the Art of the Aphorism". The New Republic. ISSN 0028-6583. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  29. "Ben Shattuck". The Paris Review. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  30. "Ben Shattuck's Articles at". Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  31. "Ben Shattuck - McSweeney's Internet Tendency". McSweeney's Internet Tendency. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  32. "Ben Shattuck". Literary Hub. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  33. "There Once Was a Dildo in Nantucket". Literary Hub. 2015-10-16. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  34. "Catapult Books | A Conversation with PEN America Best Debut Short Story Author Ben Shattuck". Catapult. 2017-08-07. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  35. Paul. "History". Harvard Review. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  36. "The History of Sound". The Common. 2018-10-29. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  37. "Pushcart Prize XLIV: Best of the Small Presses, 2020 Edition by Bill Henderson". 2019-12-10. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  38. Ravindran, Manori; Ravindran, Manori (2021-10-29). "Josh O'Connor, Paul Mescal Unite for Gay Romance 'History of Sound' From Oliver Hermanus – AFM". Variety. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  39. Lutkin, Aimée (2021-10-31). "Everything We Know About WWI Love Story 'The History of Sound'". ELLE. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  40. Ravindran, Manori; Ravindran, Manori (2021-10-29). "Josh O'Connor, Paul Mescal Unite for Gay Romance 'History of Sound' From Oliver Hermanus – AFM". Variety. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  41. Nast, Condé (2021-11-03). "As Josh O'Connor and Paul Mescal are cast as gay lovers in History of Sound, this is why we should we be safeguarding queer roles for queer actors". Glamour UK. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  42. Nast, Condé (2021-11-02). "Josh O'Connor and Paul Mescal Will Play Gay in "The History of Sound"". them. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  43. Nast, Condé (2021-01-29). ""Supernova" Raises the Question: When Is It Okay for Straight Actors to Play Gay?". them. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  44. October 29, Nick Romano; EDT, 2021 at 01:52 PM. "The hot guys from 'The Crown' and 'Normal People' will play lovers in gay romance". Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  45. "Josh O'Connor & Paul Mescal Star in the Gay Romance "History of Sound"". 2021-11-04. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  46. "Publishers Marketplace: Log In". Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  47. "Jenny Slate is 'deeply in love' with her new boyfriend". Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  48. Garvey, Marianne (2019-09-10). "Jenny Slate is engaged to art curator boyfriend Ben Shattuck". CNN. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  49. Perez, Lexy; Perez, Lexy (2019-09-09). "Jenny Slate Engaged to Boyfriend Ben Shattuck". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  50. America, Good Morning. "Jenny Slate and fiance welcome 1st child, a daughter named Ida". Good Morning America. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  51. "Jenny Slate Welcomed Her First Child with Ben Shattuck". W Magazine. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  52. "Jenny Slate Gives Birth to Baby Girl (Exclusive) | Entertainment Tonight". Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  53. Nast, Condé (2020-07-17). "Jenny Slate Invited a Total Stranger to Her Wedding". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  54. "Jenny Slate Reveals She Married Ben Shattuck in Living Room Ceremony on New Year's Eve | Entertainment Tonight". Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  55. January 18, Benjamin VanHoose; Am, 2022 10:29. "Jenny Slate Reveals She Married Ben Shattuck in Living Room Ceremony on New Year's Eve". Retrieved 2022-04-05.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  56. "Write the World". Write the World. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  57. Shattuck, Ben (2018-03-26). "Farewell to Winter, Farewell to My Fingertip". The Paris Review. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  58. Shattuck, Ben (2014-02-02). ""Is there an afterlife?" Ghost-hunting at my grandmother's house". Salon. Retrieved 2022-04-05.

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