Helen Benedict biography

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Helen Benedict

Helen Benedict

Helen Benedict Biography

Helen Benedict, a professor at Columbia University, writes frequently about justice, women, soldiers, and war. She is the author of seven novels, including Sand Queen, a Publishers Weekly "Best Contemporary War Novel." A recipient of both the Ida B. Wells Award for Bravery in Journalism and the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism, Benedict is also the author of five works of nonfiction, including The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq, and the play The Lonely Soldier Monologues. She lives in New York.

Helen Benedict's website

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Interview

A Conversation with Helen Benedict about Wolf Season in which three war-torn lives collide in a way that will affect their entire community.

You interviewed dozens of veterans as well as Iraqi refugees before writing about them in your nonfiction book The Lonely Soldier, your novel Sand Queen, and now, in Wolf Season. What is it about their stories that continues to inspire your writing?

All the Iraqis I met, and most of the veterans, had been through truly terrible traumas—war, after all, offers little else. What inspired me was their resilience and their honesty. Parents who had lost children, soldiers who had lost friends, adults who had lost brothers and sisters and spouses, and women who had been sexually attacked or tortured—all revealed a determination and generosity of spirit I found deeply moving. They told me their stories because they wanted to help others who had lived through similar circumstances. The impulse of many who have been through trauma is to help others. This speaks to the best side of the human spirit, just as war often reveals the worst.

Your novel prominently features three mothers. Rin is an Iraq war veteran and Naema is an Iraqi refugee. Beth, on the other hand, is neither a soldier nor a refugee but the wife of a deployed marine. What inspired the creation of her character? What were you hoping she...

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Books by this Author

Books by Helen Benedict at BookBrowse
Wolf Season jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Helen Benedict but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Rong Jiang

    Rong Jiang

    Jiang Rong is the pen name of Lu Jiamin (in Chinese, the family name comes first). To protect himself from what he describes as "the least liberal country in the world", he wrote Wolf Totem under a pen-name and ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Wolf Season

    Try:
    Wolf Totem
    by Rong Jiang

  • Christian Kiefer

    Christian Kiefer

    Christian Kiefer teaches at the American River College in Sacramento, California, where he lives with his wife and six sons. He is the author of The Infinite Tides, and his poetry has appeared in various publications. (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Wolf Season

    Try:
    The Animals
    by Christian Kiefer

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