ANNE FADIMAN Biography - Writers


Biography » writers » anne fadiman


Anne Fadiman is the editor of The American Scholar, a literary quarterly that                 
has been published since 1932 by the Phi Beta Kappa Society. Her journal                       
received this year's National Magazine Award for the best American magazine with               
a circulation under 100,000.                                                                   
Fadiman is the author of The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child,             
Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures (Farrar, Straus & Giroux,             
1997), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for general nonfiction,               
the Salon Book Award for nonfiction, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for                     
current interest nonfiction, and the Boston Book Review Ann Rea Jewell Award for               
nonfiction. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down tells the story of a                     
refugee family from Laos and its tragic encounters with the American medical                   
system. The Washington Post called it "an intriguing, spirit-lifting,                         
extraordinary exploration."                                                                   
Fadiman's second book, Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader (Farrar, Straus               
and Giroux, 1998), is a collection of essays about her lifelong love affair with               
books and language. The essays were adapted from her "Common Reader" column in                 
Civilization, the magazine of the Library of Congress, of which she was Editor-at-large       
from 1994 to 1998. The London Observer called Ex Libris "witty, enchanting, and               
supremely well-written." Salon readers voted it #2 on their list of the Ten Best               
Nonfiction Books of 1998. It has been or will be translated into eleven                       
languages, including Chinese and Catalan.                                                     
Fadiman's essays and articles have appeared in Harper's, The New Yorker, The New               
York Times, and The Washington Post, among other publications. While she was a                 
staff writer at Life, she won a National Magazine Award for Reporting for her                 
reportage on suicide among the elderly.                                                       
In 1997, Fadiman delivered the Phi Beta Kappa orations at both Harvard (of which               
she is a 1975 graduate) and Yale. She was a 1991-92 recipient of a John S.                     
Knight Fellowship at Stanford.                                                                 
Fadiman lives with her husband and two children in western Massachusetts, where               
she teaches nonfiction writing at Smith College.