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Elizabeth Benedict

7:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 31

Reading / Conversation with Robert Boyers,
Multi-Purpose Room, Campus Center West Addition. See map.

Author of the eternally popular how-to book, The Joy of Writing Sex: A Guide for Fiction Writers (1996), Elizabeth Benedict applies her talents to retelling the story of her recent encounter with cancer in Rewriting Illness: A View of My Own (2023).

NPR’s Mara Liasson called it “startling, self-aware, and wickedly funny,” and Professor Kathy G. Niknejad, MD, of Harvard Medical School said, "Her surprisingly entertaining memoir should be required reading for every medical student, resident, and physician – an ideal teaching tool."

Benedict’s 1985 novel, Slow Dancing, was a National Book Award Finalist. She has served on the fiction faculty of the New York State Summer Writers Institute since 1997.

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, 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).

Benedict has taught fiction and non-fiction writing at Barnard College, the New School, Princeton University, 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

Elizabeth Benedict's Rewriting Illness: A View of My Own 
Praise for Rewriting Illness: A View of My Own

“A frank, riveting, often hilarious memoir.” –Claire Messud

“Elizabeth Benedict’s eighth book will mess with you — in irresistible ways. Despite its scary subject, this chronicle reads more like a breathtaking whodunnit — or rather, a whatdunnit… Best of all, Benedict’s writing sparkles.”  Joan Frank, Boston Globe 

“You can whip through Rewriting Illness in an evening. Short chapters with snappy titles transform a book about illness and recovery into a thriller….  Jesse Kornbluth, Head Butler


“When I finished the book, I felt like I had made a new friend, and all I wanted was to keep our conversation going. This is more than a memoir, it’s an experience.” –Lori Gottlieb, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

Cosponsored by UAlbany’s Women in Science and Health Network (WISH).

(Photo credit: Sam Harding)

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