Helen Benedict (www.helenbenedict.com) is the prize-winning author of eleven books, the last two of which are about the Iraq War. Her latest novel,"Sand Queen," about a female soldier and an Iraqi civilian in the war, came out in paperback in August, 2012 from Soho Press.
Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Robert Olen Butler said about the book, "Every war eventually yields works of art which transcend politics and history and illuminate our shared humanity. Helen Benedict's brilliant new novel has done just that with this century's American war in Iraq. Sand Queen is an important book by one our finest literary artists."
"Sand Queen" is based on Benedict's research for her most recent nonfiction book, "The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq" (Beacon Press, 2009 and 2010). She won three major awards for that book and her articles on soldiers: The 2010 Exceptional Merit in Media Award from the National Women's Political Caucus, The Ken Book Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness for 2010, and the 2008 James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism.
Benedict's writings on women in the military have inspired an ongoing lawsuit against the Pentagon on behalf of women and men who were sexually assaulted while serving in the military, and also inspired the award-winning documentary, The Invisible War. Benedict has also testified twice to Congress on behalf of women in the military. She is a professor of journalism at Columbia University.
Further early praise for "Sand Queen":
"Helen Benedict's compelling story provides an intimate picture of what it means to be a soldier, what it's like to live on the battlefield, and what the ethical choices are that our troops have had to make in Iraq. At times funny, at times grimly painful, Sand Queen offers a new chapter in contemporary American history." -- Roxana Robinson, author of Cost
"Anyone who claims to value the lives of our soldiers should read this powerful, harrowing, and revelatory novel." -- Valerie Martin, author of The Confessions of Edward Day and Trespass
Benedict's earlier novels are The Edge of Eden, The Opposite of Love, The Sailor's Wife, Bad Angel, and A World Like This. The Los Angeles Times and New York and Chicago Public Libraries have named her novels best books of the year, and she has received fellowships from Yaddo, MacDowell, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Freedom Forum.
Her nonfiction includes Virgin or Vamp: How the Press Covers Sex Crimes, Portraits in Print and Recovery: How to Survive Sexual Assault.
Helen Benedict's other articles and essays have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the Washington Post, Glamour, The Women's Review of Books, and in many other magazines. She has been published in many countries and is included in several anthologies. www.helenbenedict.com.
Photographer Copywright Credit Name: Emma B. O'Connor, 2010.