Lorraine Adams

New York, United States

Lorraine Adams is a novelist, critic, and Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist.  Her work is engaged in the encounter between the American enterprise and those caught in violent conflict in the Islamic world.

Her first novel, Harbor (Knopf, 2004), centers on North African Arab stowaways.  Critically acclaimed in pubications such as the New Yorker, New York Times, Washington Post, Esquire, The Guardian, and the Times of London, among others, it won the Los Angeles Times Book Award for First Fiction and the Virginia Commonwealth University's First Novelist Award in 2004. It was selected as one of the  New York Times Book Review's Best Books of 2004, as a 2004 Washington Post Notable Book, as Entertainment Weekly's Best Novel of 2004, and as Annie Proulx's Book-of-the-Month Club Selection in 2004.  It was short listed for The Guardian First Book Award and long-listed for the Orange Prize in 2006.  Her second novel, The Room and the Chair (Knopf, 2010), which took her to Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan to chart the life of an American fighter pilot, undermines the clichés of power and plot common to the Washington genre thriller.

Adams was the receipt of a 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship to support work on her third novel, which is set in Pakistan.

Adams holds a B.A., magna cum laude, in literature from Princeton University (1981) and an M.A. in English and American literature from Columbia University (1982).  In 1992, she won the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting for a series in the Dallas Morning News on violations of civil rights by Texas law enforcement.  An investigative reporter at theWashington Post for eleven years, her journalism gravitated to issues of social justice and the marginalized. 

Adams was a writer-in-residence at Eugene Lang College, the undergraduate college at The New School, and has been a regular contributor to the New York Times Book Review, where she specializes in reviewing foreign fiction, particularly from the Muslim world.


Website: http://lorraineadams.net


  • The Room and the Chair , Knopf (February 2010)
  • Harbor , Knopf (September 2004)


  • Guggenheim Fellowship(2010)
  • Guardian First Book finalist(2005)
  • Los Angeles Times First Fiction Winner(2004)
  • Pulitzer Prize, investigative reporting(1992)


  • Freelance Writer at Granta, The New Republic, New York Times Book Review, Bookforum (August 2001 - )
  • Staff Writer at The Washington Post (September 1992 - August 2001)


  • Bachelor of Arts in Literature from Princeton University (June 1981)
  • Master of Arts in Literature from Columbia University (June 1982)

Genres of Interest