NYS WRITERS INSTITUTE
NYS Summer Writers Institute
Reading - July 3, 2007
ELIZABETH BENEDICT, author of five novels, combines humor and pathos, balancing sparkling writing and wit with deeply affecting stories. Her first novel, Slow Dancing (1985), received a National Book Award nomination and was a finalist for both the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the American Book Award. The novel, which follows the slow evolution of a noncommittal sexual relationship into authentic mutual love, put Benedict into the first rank of young authors.
"a stunning first novel . . . [Benedict's] insights into character are poetic." - Malcolm Boyd, Los Angeles Times
Her other critically acclaimed novels include The Beginners Book of Dreams (1988) and Safe Conduct (1993).
Benedict's newest novel is The Practice of Deceit (2005, Mariner Books, ISBN 978-0-618-71051-5). When the Manhattan psychotherapist Eric Lavender meets the sexy, stylish lawyer Coleen O'Brien Golden, his bachelor life suddenly loses its long-standing appeal.
Another of Benedict's novel is Almost (2001, Houghton Mifflin, ISBN 0-618-14332-7). While in bed with her lover, Sophy, the novel's protagonist, learns of her estranged husband's sudden death. When she chooses to investigate the circumstances, she is forced into tense interactions with her dead spouse's ex-wife and grown daughters.
"Almost is a fast-paced, funny, and splendidly intelligent drama. And what a varied, unforgettable cast of characters--young, old, rich, poor, famous, unknown, all of them turned inside out by love and grief. I relished every page." - Edmund White
". . .a novel of amazing intimacy, written with clear-eyed intelligence, precision and wit." - John Casey, novelist
Benedict is also the author of the classic writer's resource The Joy of Writing Sex: A Guide for Fiction Writers (1996).
"Along with pure how-to advice, Benedict supplies some thought-provoking criticism of sex in the modern novel. The volume is far more substantive than most how-to-write manuals and is certain to be of interest to aspiring writers of literary fiction." - Booklist
Her work has appeared in Salmagundi, The New York Times, Esquire, Harper's Bazaar, The American Retrospect, and other periodicals. She has taught writing at Princeton University, Swarthmore, and at the University of Iowa's Writers' Workshop.
Elizabeth Benedict was a guest at the New York State Writers Institute on October 9, 2001, when she and Mary Gaitskill had a joint reading.
Books By Elizabeth Benedict
For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620
or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.