Lynn Freed
Lynn Freed

Bio & Education

LYNN FREED was born and grew up in Durban, South Africa. She came to New York as a graduate student, receiving her M.A. and Ph.D. in English Literature from Columbia University.

After moving to San Francisco, she wrote her first novel, HEART CHANGE (republished as FRIENDS OF THE FAMILY). Since then, she has published five more novels: HOME GROUND, THE BUNGALOW, THE MIRROR, HOUSE OF WOMEN and THE SERVANTSQUARTERS. In 2004, her first collection of short stories, THE CURSE OF THE APPROPRIATE MAN, was published, and, in 2005, her first collection of essays, READING, WRITING & LEAVING HOME: LIFE ON THE PAGE.

Ms. Freed’s short fiction and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Atlantic Monthly, Southwest Review, the Michigan Quarterly Review, The Santa Monica Review, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsday, Mirabella, Elle, House Beautiful, House & Garden, and Vogue, among others. Her work is widely translated, and is included in a number of anthologies.

In 2011 Ms. Freed won a PEN/O. Henry Award for the short story, “Sunshine”, which is included in the PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2011. Prior to that, she had stories listed both in BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES and THE PEN/O. HENRY PRIZE SHORT STORY collections. She has won the Bay Area Book Reviewers’ Award for Fiction (HOME GROUND), and has subsequently had four books nominated for the same award. Most of her books have appeared on The New York Times “Notable Books of the Year” list as well as on its “New & Noteworthy Paperback” list, as they have on the lists of The Washington Post and other journals.

In 2002, Ms. Freed was awarded the inaugural Katherine Anne Porter Award by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She has received grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and The Guggenheim Foundation and been awarded residency fellowships supported by The Rockefeller Foundation, The Camargo Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Bogliasco Foundation, Civitella Ranieri, the Corporation of Yaddo, and the MacDowell Colony, among others.

Ms. Freed is Professor Emerita of English at the University of California in Davis.


PH.D. English Literature
Columbia University

M.A. English Literature
Columbia University

University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg


TEACHING Literature and Creative Writing