Anna Quindlen is a bestselling author, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and social critic. Millions of readers have followed her astute perspectives on today’s issues, from family, work and education to health care, philanthropy and social justice. Quindlen delivered the 156th Commencement Address and received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree on May 19, 2017.
With the publication of her nonfiction book “A Short Guide to A Happy Life,” which sold over a million copies, Ms. Quindlen became the first writer to have books appear on the fiction, nonfiction and self-help New York Times Best Seller lists.
Her memoir on aging, “Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake,” debuted at No. 1 on The New York Times Best Sellers list in 2012.
She is also the author of eight novels, all bestsellers: “Object Lessons,” “One True Thing,” “Black and Blue,” “Blessings,” “Rise and Shine,” “Every Last One,” “Still Life With Bread Crumbs,” and, most recently, “Miller’s Valley.”
In a New York Times Book Review, author Caroline Leavitt referred to “Miller’s Valley” as “overwhelmingly moving.”
“Quindlen makes her characters so richly alive, so believable, that it’s impossible not to feel every doubt and dream they harbor, or share every tragedy that befalls them,” Leavitt wrote.
A native of Philadelphia, Ms. Quindlen began her career at 18 as a copy girl. After graduating from Barnard College in 1974, she spent three years as a reporter for The New York Post.
She went to The New York Times in 1977 as a general assignment reporter. She went on to write the “About New York” column, serve as deputy metropolitan editor, and create the weekly column “Life in the 30’s.”
In 1990, Ms. Quindlen became only the third woman in The New York Times’ history to write for its influential op-ed page when she began the nationally syndicated column “Public and Private.” In 1992, she won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for the column.
A collection of those columns, “Thinking Out Loud,” was published by Random House in 1993 and was on The New York Times Best Seller List for more than three months.
Ms. Quindlen is also the author of two children’s books, “Happily Ever After” and “The Tree That Came to Stay.”
She left The New York Times in 1995 to devote herself to her work as a novelist.
From 2000 to 2009, she also wrote the “Last Word” column for Newsweek magazine. Those columns were collected in “Loud and Clear.”
Among her many honors and distinctions, Ms. Quindlen was selected one of “the 100 Outstanding Journalists in the United States in the Last 100 Years” by the faculty and an honorary committee of alumni of the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University.
Elected a fellow of the Academy of Arts & Sciences in 1996, Ms. Quindlen holds honorary degrees from more than 20 colleges and universities.
Ms. Quindlen served on Barnard College’s Board of Trustees for more than two decades, including seven years as chair from 2003 to 2010. Now chair emerita, she received the college’s Distinguished Alumna Award in 1994. In 2014, Barnard established the Anna Quindlen Writer-in-Residence position in her honor.
The Child Welfare League of America has established “The Anna Quindlen Award for Excellence in Journalism on Behalf of Children and Families.”
She serves on the board of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Ms. Quindlen and her husband, Gerald Krovatin, an attorney, live in New York City. They have two sons, Quindlen and Christopher, and a daughter, Maria.