Beloved Author and Pulitzer Prize Winning Columnist
Anna Quindlen is the author of five bestselling novels, three of which have been made into movies, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for her New York Times column “Public and Private.” Her many nonfiction books include A Short Guide to a Happy Life, Loud and Clear, and Being Perfect. Quindlen’s new memoir, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, celebrates her life and the lives of women today, looking back and ahead, as she considers marriage, girlfriends, our mothers, faith, loss, all that stuff in our closets, and more.
Quindlen began her journalism career in 1974 as a reporter for the New York Post. Between 1977 and 1994, she held several different posts at The New York Times before leaving journalism to become a full-time novelist. From 2000-2009, she wrote the “Last Word” column for Newsweek.
Known as a critic of what she perceives to be the fast-paced and increasingly materialistic nature of modern American life, Quindlen centers much of her personal writing on her mother who died at the age of 40 from ovarian cancer. “I’m a novelist,” Quindlen says, “My work is human nature. Real life is really all I know.”
A prolific author, Quindlen’s books include Living Out Loud (1988), Thinking Out Loud (1994), How Reading Changed My Life (1998), Homeless (1998), A Short Guide to a Happy Life (2000), Loud and Clear (2004), Imagined London (2004), Being Perfect (2005), Good Dog. Stay. (2007), and Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake (2012). With the release of A Short Guide to a Happy Life in 2000, Quindlen became the first writer ever to have books appear on the fiction, nonfiction, and self-help New York Times Best Seller lists. The book sold close to a million copies.
Quindlen’s novels include Object Lessons (1991), One True Thing (1994), Black and Blue (1998), Blessings (2002), Rise and Shine (2006), and Every Last One: A Novel (2010). One True Thing was made into a feature film in 1998, for which Meryl Streep received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Black and Blue and Blessings were made into television movies in 1999 and 2003 respectively.
A popular commencement address speaker who holds many honorary college and university degrees, Quindlen often speaks on what constitutes a meaningful life, saying, “There’s no greater happiness than doing something every day that you love, that you feel you do in a satisfactory fashion, and which both supports and gives you time to support your family.”