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 six more novels: HOME GROUND, THE BUNGALOW, THE MIRROR, HOUSE OF WOMEN, THE SERVANTS’ QUARTERS and, in 2017, THE LAST LAUGH. She has a collection of short stories, THE CURSE OF THE APPROPRIATE MAN and two collections of essays: READING, WRITING & LEAVING HOME: LIFE ON THE PAGE and THE ROMANCE OF ELSEWHERE.

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

In 2011 Ms. Freed won an O. Henry Award for her short story, “Sunshine” (included in The O. Henry Prize Stories 2011), and, in 2015, another for “The Way Things Are Going” (included in The O. Henry Prize Stories, 2015). In 2012, her essay, “Keeping Watch”, was included in BEST AMERICAN TRAVEL WRITING. 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, The TLS and other journals.

In 2002, Ms. Freed was awarded the inaugural Katherine Anne Porter Award in fiction 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 residencies and 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


(a selection)