Anna Quindlen

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Anna Quindlen
Quindlen in 2008
Born (1952-07-08) July 8, 1952 (age 72)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Alma materBarnard College
Occupation(s)Columnist, novelist
SpouseGerald Krovatin (m. 1978; div. 2021)

Anna Marie Quindlen (born July 8, 1952) is an American author, journalist, and opinion columnist.

Her New York Times column, Public and Private, won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1992. She began her journalism career in 1974 as a reporter for the New York Post. Between 1977 and 1994 she held several posts at The New York Times.[1] Her semi-autobiographical novel One True Thing (1994) served as the basis for the 1998 film starring Meryl Streep and Renée Zellweger.

Life and career

Anna Quindlen in 1985

Anna Quindlen was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 8, 1952, the daughter of Prudence (née Pantano, 1928–1972) and Robert Quindlen.[2][3][4] Her father was Irish American and her mother was Italian American. Quindlen graduated in 1970 from South Brunswick High School in South Brunswick, New Jersey,[5] and then attended Barnard College, from which she graduated in 1974. She was married to New Jersey attorney Gerald Krovatin, whom she met while in college. Their sons Quindlen Krovatin and Christopher Krovatin are published authors, and daughter Maria is an actress, comedian and writer.[6][7][8]

Anna Quindlen left journalism in 1995 to become a full-time novelist.

In 1999, she joined Newsweek, writing a bi-weekly column until she announced her semi-retirement in the May 18, 2009, issue of the magazine. Quindlen is known as a critic of what she perceives to be the fast-paced and increasingly materialistic nature of modern American life. Much of her personal writing centers on her mother, who died from ovarian cancer, when Quindlen was 19 years old.

She has written nine novels, several of which have been adapted into motion pictures. One True Thing was made into a feature film in 1998. It starred Meryl Streep, who received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for the role. Black and Blue and Blessings were made into television movies in 1999 and 2003, respectively.

Quindlen participates in LearnedLeague under the name "QuindlenA".[9]

One True Thing


In 1994, her semi-autobiographical novel, titled One True Thing, was published. The book focuses on the relationship between a young woman and her mother, who is dying from cancer. Quindlen's own mother, Prudence Quindlen, died in 1972 while in her 40s from ovarian cancer. At the time Quindlen was a college student, but came home to take care of her mother.[10] In 1998, a film of the same name was released. The movie starred Meryl Streep and Renée Zellweger as Kate and Ellen Gulden, fictionalized versions of Prudence and Anna Quindlen. Streep was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance.



Writing in The New Republic, critic Lee Siegel cited Quindlen as an example of the "monsters of empathy" who "self subjugate and domesticate and assimilate every distant tragedy". He coined the term "The Quindlen Effect" to describe this phenomenon and suggested that it began with her Times column of December 13, 1992, in which Quindlen assailed the four alleged perpetrators of the Glen Ridge rape. "True to her niche," Siegel wrote, "Quindlen attacked with scathing indignation actions that no sane Times reader would ever defend."[11] Siegel also referred to Barbara Kingsolver in the same essay, along with Quindlen, derisively as "Nice Queens".

In 1999, Villanova University invited Anna Quindlen to deliver the annual commencement address. But once the announcement was made, a group of anti-abortion students planned a protest against Quindlen's positions on reproductive rights, and she withdrew as speaker.[12] The following year, however, she spoke at Villanova's graduation.[13]




External videos
video icon Booknotes interview with Quindlen on Thinking Out Loud, May 16, 1993, C-SPAN[14]
  • A Quilt of a Country* (2001)
  • Living Out Loud (1988)
  • Thinking Out Loud (1994)
  • How Reading Changed My Life (1998)
  • Homeless (1998)
  • A Short Guide to a Happy Life (2000) ISBN 978-0-375-50461-7 from part of a cancelled commencement address that was to be given at Villanova
  • Loud and Clear (2004)
  • Imagined London (2004)
  • Being Perfect (2005)
  • Good Dog. Stay. (2007)
  • Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake (2012)[15][16]
  • Nanaville: Adventures in Grandparenting (2019)
  • Write for Your Life (2022)


  • Object Lessons (1991)
  • One True Thing (1994)
  • Black and Blue (1998)
  • Blessings (2002)
  • Rise and Shine (2006)
  • Every Last One: A Novel (2010) [17]
  • Still Life with Bread Crumbs (2013)
  • Miller's Valley (2016)
  • Alternate Side (2018) [18][19]
  • After Annie (2024) [20][21]

Children's books


New table pictorials






Industry awards


Honorary degrees


Other awards from universities


Other awards



  1. ^ "Authors: Anna Quindlen". Newsweek. Archived from the original on January 20, 2011.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  2. ^ "Anna Quindlen – Historical Records". MyHeritage. Archived from the original on August 27, 2016. Retrieved August 24, 2016.
  3. ^ Krovatin, Quindlen (May 11, 2012). "Anna Quindlen talks about her new memoir 'Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake'". The Christian Science Monitor. Archived from the original on October 9, 2015. Retrieved August 24, 2016. I'd done the research that showed that in the year I was born, 1952, average life expectancy was 68.
  4. ^ Brennan, Elizabeth A.; Clarage, Elizabeth C. (1999). Who's Who of Pulitzer Prize Winners. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 66. ISBN 978-1-57356-111-2. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  5. ^ Kalet, Hank (June 21, 2001). "From South Brunswick High School to a Pulitzer Prize: Nationally renowned writer, journalist has local roots". South Brunswick Post. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  6. ^ "Weddings/Celebrations: Lynn Feng and Quindlen Krovatin". The New York Times. June 15, 2014. Archived from the original on July 29, 2017. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  7. ^ Neyfakh, Leon (July 7, 2009). "Chris Krovatin, Anna Quindlen's Metalhead Son, Sells Novel to Broadway". The New York Observer. Archived from the original on October 11, 2012.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  8. ^ Lane, Tahree (May 5, 2013). "On The Beauty of Aging, Quindlen: 'It can be so glorious'". The Blade (Toledo). Archived from the original on August 28, 2016. Retrieved August 24, 2016.
  9. ^ "LL Profile: QuindlenA". Archived from the original on August 14, 2022. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  10. ^ "Her Own True Thing". People. October 17, 1994. Archived from the original on October 30, 2016. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  11. ^ "Sweet And Low". The New Republic. Archived from the original on September 10, 2015. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  12. ^ Eshleman, Russell E. Jr. (May 11, 1999). "Anna Quindlen Withdraws As Villanova Graduation Speaker". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Archived from the original on April 1, 2016. Retrieved July 8, 2015.
  13. ^ "Anna Quindlen's Commencement Address at Villanova". Archived from the original on April 6, 2018. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  14. ^ "Thinking Out Loud". C-SPAN. May 16, 1993. Archived from the original on June 17, 2017. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
  15. ^ Plenty of Cake review Archived 2012-04-29 at the Wayback Machine New York Journal of Books
  16. ^ "Anna Quindlen: Over 50, And Having 'Plenty Of Cake'". National Public Radio. April 24, 2012.
  17. ^ Ciabattari, Jane (April 21, 2010). "Suburbia Interrupted In Anna Quindlen's New Novel". National Public Radio.
  18. ^ Rhule, Patty. "Anna Quindlen's charged new novel 'Alternate Side' erupts over NYC 'parking rage'". USA TODAY. Retrieved February 27, 2024.
  19. ^ Corbett, Sue (April 3, 2018). "Real Estate, Parking and Violence: A Novel of New York". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 27, 2024.
  20. ^ Newman, Catherine (February 23, 2024). "Anna Quindlen Is Back, With Four Seasons of Loss and Survival". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 27, 2024.
  21. ^ Szewczyk |, Elaine. "Anna Quindlen Wants You to Get a Good Life". Retrieved February 27, 2024.
  22. ^ THE TREE THAT CAME TO STAY | Kirkus Reviews.
  23. ^ Announced by WUSTL Chancellor April 4, 2017
  24. ^ "Quindlen P'07, Premji P'99, Masselli, Alexander '88, to Receive Honorary Degrees". News @ Wesleyan. Archived from the original on March 8, 2018. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  25. ^ "Best-selling author, social critic Anna Quindlen to deliver Commencement address May 19 | The Source | Washington University in St. Louis". The Source. April 4, 2017. Archived from the original on May 26, 2018. Retrieved March 15, 2018.