Professor Helen Benedict

New York, United States

Member Since: 04/16/2014

Helen Benedict is a professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and the author of six novels, five books of non-fiction, and a play. Her latest novel, SAND QUEEN, about two women on opposite sides of the Iraq War, was called one of the best new novels about war by Publisher's Weekly and NPR’s To the Best of Our Knowledge. The Boston Globe said of it, “This is ‘The Things They Carried’’ for women in Iraq.”

Benedict’s last non-fiction book was THE LONELY SOLDIER: THE PRIVATE WAR OF WOMEN SERVING IN IRAQ, the research for which informed SAND QUEEN and her play, THE LONELY SOLDIER MONOLOGUES, which was produced in New York to critical acclaim and which she donates to campuses and veteran’s organizations all over the country for educational purposes. It was performed at The History Theater in St. Paul, MN in 2014 and in London, UK in 2015.

In 2013, Benedict was named one of the 21 Leaders for the 21st. Century by Women’s eNews in 2013, and has won four awards for her work on women in the military: the Ida B. Wells Award for Bravery in Journalism in 2013; the Exceptional Merit in Media Award from the National Women’s Political Caucus and the Ken Book Award in 2010; and the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism. Benedict’s writings inspired an ongoing class action suit against the Pentagon on behalf of women and men who were sexually assaulted in the military, and also inspired the Oscar-nominated documentary The Invisible War, in which she appears. Benedict has testified twice to Congress on behalf of women veterans, consulted for Women, War & Peace series on PBS 2011, and is featured in two documentaries on women at war.

Benedict's novels have been named Best Book of the Year by the Los Angeles Times, and the Chicago and New York Public Libraries. She has received residential fellowships from Yaddo, MacDowell, Blue Mountain, The Virginia Center for the Arts, Ragdale, the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Ireland, Auvillar in France, and elsewhere. Her stories, essays, book reviews and articles have appeared in The New York Times, the Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune and in many other magazines and journals throughout the world.


Twitter Username: @helenbenedict


  • Sand Queen, a novel , Soho Press (August 5, 2012)
  • The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq , Beacon Press (2009)
  • The Edge of Eden, a novel , Soho Press (2010)
  • The Opposite of Love, a novel , Viking (2007)
  • The Sailor's Wife , Zoland (2000)
  • Bad Angel , Dutton (1997)
  • A World Like This , E.P. Dutton (1990)


  • Ida B. Wells Award for Bravery in Journalism(2013)
  • Named one of 21 Leaders for the 21st. Century from Women's e-News(2013)
  • Named Visionary in Residence, Dartmouth College(2012)
  • Ken Book Award(2010)
  • Exceptional Merit in Media Award (EMMA) from The National Woman’s Political Caucus(2010)
  • The James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism(2008)


  • Professor at Columbia University


  • Master of Science in Journalism from University of California, Berkeley

Genres of Interest

Fiction, Creative nonfiction, Playwriting