Nicole Dennis-Benn
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Photograph by Jason Berger


Nicole Dennis-Benn is the author of the bestselling novel, PATSY (Norton/Liveright, June 2019), which has has received much acclaim from the New York Times, O Magazine, TIME, NPR, Vogue, The Atlantic, the Washington Post, Publisher's Weekly, ELLE, Entertainment Weekly, Bustle, Buzzfeed, Kirkus, Booklist, People Magazine, Newsday, Harpers Bazaar, Vanity Fair, and others. PATSY has been selected as a New York Times Editors’ Choice, a Financial Times Critics’ Choice, a Today Show Read With Jenna Book Club pick, and has also been deemed by Apple Books as one of the Best Books of the Year so far. "Patsy fills a literary void with compassion, complexity and tenderness," raves Time Magazine; and according to NPR, "Dennis-Benn is quickly becoming an indispensable novelist, and Patsy is a brave, brilliant triumph of a book." The National Book Review describes PATSY as "exquisitely written, highly nuanced, and powerful" and Nylon has proclaimed that "[this] stunning second novel only serves to solidify [Dennis-Benn's] place as one of the finest novelists writing today." Award-winning author, Alexander Chee, calls PATSY "a stunningly powerful inter-generational novel," and Man Booker Prize finalist, Chigozie Obioma, deems PATSY as "beautiful, shattering, and deeply affecting."

Her debut novel, HERE COMES THE SUN (Norton/Liveright, July 2016), a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, won the Lambda Literary Award for Fiction, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Award, the New York Times Public Library Young Lions Award, the Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize, and was long-listed for the Dublin Literary Award. HERE COMES THE SUN also received best book of the year nods from NPR, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Entertainment Weekly, the San Francisco Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, BuzzFeed, Vice, and Kirkus Reviews among others.

Time Out New York described Dennis-Benn as one of the "few immigrants and first-generation Americans who are putting their stamps on NYC," and Vice included her in a round-up of immigrant authors "who are making American literature great again." Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Elle, BuzzFeed, Electric Literature, Lenny Letter, The Rumpus, Catapult, Red Rock Review, and Kweli Literary Journal, Mosaic, Ebony, and the Feminist Wire. Dennis-Benn is a recipent of the New York Foundation for the Arts Artist Grant and the 2018 Caribbean Life Impact Award. Her writing has been awarded a Richard and Julie Logsdon Fiction Prize; and two of her stories have been nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize in Fiction.

Dennis-Benn has previously taught in the writing programs at Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, NYU, Sarah Lawrence College, and City College; and has been awarded fellowships from MacDowell Colony, Hedgebrook, Lambda, Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, Hurston/Wright, and Sewanee Writers' Conference.

Dennis-Benn was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica. She is a graduate of St. Andrew High School for Girls and Cornell University; and holds a Master of Public Health from the University of Michigan and an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. Dennis-Benn is the founder of the Stuyvesant Writing Workshop and lives with her wife in Brooklyn, New York.