Ruta Sepetys (Rūta Šepetys) is an internationally acclaimed author of historical fiction published in over 45 countries and 33 languages. Sepetys is considered a “crossover” novelist as her books are read by both students and adults worldwide. Her novels, BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY and OUT OF THE EASY, are both New York Times bestsellers, international bestsellers and Carnegie Medal nominees. Her books have won or been shortlisted for over 40 book prizes, are included on 20 state reading lists, and have been selected for several all-city read programs.
Ruta is the daughter of a Lithuanian refugee. Born in Michigan, she was raised in a family of artists, readers, and music lovers. She has a fierce love for all things related to the city of Detroit. Ruta attended college to study opera but instead graduated with a degree in International Finance. Prior to publishing her first novel, she spent 20 years in the music industry helping artists and songwriters distill story through song.
Sepetys is the first American novelist of young adult crossover literature to address European Parliament. She was awarded The Rockefeller Foundation’s prestigious Bellagio Residency for her new novel, SALT TO THE SEA.
Ruta was recently bestowed the Cross of the Knight of the Order by the President of Lithuania for her contributions to education and memory preservation. She is intensely proud to be Lithuanian, even if that means she has a name no one can pronounce.
Ruta lives in a treehouse in the hills of Tennessee.