Elizabeth Benedict is a bestselling novelist, journalist, teacher of creative writing, editor, and writing coach. She has published five acclaimed novels, including the bestseller Almost and the National Book Award finalist Slow Dancing, a classic book on writing fiction, The Joy of Writing Sex: A Guide for Fiction Writers, in print since 1996, and hundreds of reviews, essays, and articles. She is the editor of three acclaimed anthologies, the New York Times Bestseller What My Mother Gave Me: Thirty-one Women on the Gifts That Mattered Most (Algonquin 2013), Mentors, Muses & Monsters: 30 Writers on the People Who Changed Their Lives (Simon & Schuster; SUNY Press), and Me, My Hair and I: 27 Women Untangle an Obsession (Algonquin 2015).
Her novels have established her reputation as a writer who “specializes in the subterranean currents of modern relationships, the secret motivations and betrayals that underlie everyday interactions.” Hallie Ephron in the Boston Globe called her most recent novel, The Practice of Deceit “a wickedly funny literary suspense novel” that is “wry, at times heartbreaking, always smart and entertaining.”Newsday’s reviewer said that Benedict’s “wit is as sharp as her eye, and twice as fast. She writes the hard, horrifying truth about human nature, and it is addictively entertaining.” Fresh Air’s Maureen Corrigan chose her previous novel, the bestseller Almost, as one of her top five novels of 2001.
Her first novel, Slow Dancing, published in 1985, was shortlisted for the National Book Award. She is also the author of several other novels and of a classic book, The Joy of Writing Sex , which is used widely in writing programs. She’s taught fiction and non-fiction writing at Barnard, the New School, Princeton, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Swarthmore College, and MIT and has written for many publications, including The Huffington Post, The Rumpus, The New York Times, Real Simple, Salmagundi, Daedalus, Esquire, Tin House, Harper’s Bazaar, and The American Prospect. Three of her personal essays have been chosen as Notable Essays in the Best American Essay series (Houghton Mifflin).