Frances Dinkelspiel is an award-winning author and journalist. Her most recent book is Tangled Vines: Greed, Murder, Obsession and an Arsonist in the Vineyards of California.
Her first book was the San Francisco Chronicle bestseller, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California. The San Francisco Chronicle and the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association both named it a Best Book of the Year. Towers of Gold was also a finalist for the Northern California Book Awards.
A graduate of Stanford University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Frances started her reporting career at the Syracuse Newspapers in upstate New York and later moved to the San Jose Mercury News.
Frances’s freelance articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, People Magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Magazine and elsewhere.
In 2009, after watching newspapers decimate their local reporting staffs, Frances co-founded Berkeleyside, a news site about Berkeley, CA. Berkeleyside has twice won the “Best Community News Site” award from the Northern California Society of Professional Journalists. In 2013, Frances and her partners created Nosh, a site about the food scene in the East Bay.
Frances is an accomplished speaker who has delivered more than 200 lectures on the history of California, Isaias Hellman, and the role Jews made to the development of the state. She has given talks at the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley, the Huntington Library, the Los Angeles Public Library’s ALOUD program, the San Francisco Public Library, the California Historical Society, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, and elsewhere.
Frances has also appeared in a number of television shows and documentaries, including NBC’s genealogy show, “Who Do You Think You Are?” with Academy Award-winning actress Helen Hunt. She was also featured in the documentary, “American Jerusalem: Jews and the Making of San Francisco.”
Frances lives in Berkeley, California with her husband and has two daughters.