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Elizabeth Benedict


Elizabeth Benedict

Elizabeth Benedict, whose novels include the national bestseller ALMOST and the National Book Award finalist SLOW DANCING, authored the classic book on writing about sex in fiction, THE JOY OF WRITING SEX, in print for 25 years. Her personal essays have been selected as “Notable” in five editions of Best American Essays. She has written reviews and articles for The New York Times, Boston Globe, Esquire, Rea Simple and Daedalus, and been a regular contributor to Japanese Playboy, Huffington Post and Salmagundi, writing on sexual politics, money and literature, and on figures from Monica Lewinsky to British psychoanalyst Adam Phillips. 

She conceived of and edited three prominent anthologies, including the New York Times bestseller WHAT MY MOTHER GAVE ME: 31 Women on the Gifts That Mattered Most. Her books are featured regularly in reviews and interviews on "All Things Considered," "Fresh Air" and many other public radio shows, including the BBC’s “Women’s Hour” and Australia Public Radio. A graduate of Barnard College, Ms. Benedict has taught creative writing at Princeton, the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and Columbia, and is on the Fiction Faculty at the New York State Summer Writers Institute.

Elizabeth Benedict

Books by Elizabeth Benedict

by Elizabeth Benedict - Memoir, Nonfiction

By turns somber and funny, but above all provocative, Elizabeth Benedict’s REWRITING ILLNESS is a most unconventional memoir. With wisdom, self-effacing wit and the storytelling skills of a seasoned novelist, she brings to life her cancer diagnosis and committed hypochondria. As she discovers multiplying lumps in her armpit, she describes her initial terror, interspersed with moments of self-mocking levity as she indulges in “natural remedies” --- among them, chanting Tibetan mantras, drinking shots of wheat grass, and finding medicinal properties in chocolate babka. She tracks the progression of her illness from muddled diagnosis to debilitating treatment as she gathers sustenance from her family and an assortment of urbane, ironic friends, including her fearless “cancer guru.”