Wikipedia Encyclopedia

Pamela Erens

Pamela Erens

Pamela Erens is an American writer who appeared on a list compiled by the Reader's Digest of "23 Contemporary Writers You Should Have Read by Now".[1] She has written three critically acclaimed novels for adults, a highly praised novel for middle schoolers,[2][3] and the memoir/critical hybrid Middlemarch and the Imperfect Life.[4] Her debut novel, The Understory (2007), was a fiction finalist for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing[5] and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize,.[6] Erens's second novel, The Virgins (2013), received accolades from many sources including The New York Times, The New Yorker and Vanity Fair.[7] It was a finalist for the John Gardner Fiction Book Award.[8] Her third novel, Eleven Hours, was published in May 2016.[9] It was named a Best Book of 2016 by The New Yorker,[10] NPR,[11] and Kirkus.[12] Erens's middle grade novel, Matasha, was published in June 2021.[13] Erens has also written essays and critical articles for publications such as The New York Times, Vogue, Elle, Virginia Quarterly Review, and Los Angeles Review of Books.[14]

Erens at the 2016 Texas Book Festival.


Pamela Erens was brought up in Chicago. Her mother Patricia lectured on film at Rosary College and her father was an attorney.[15][16] Erens was educated at the Latin School of Chicago, and had a novel published at the age of 14 entitled Fight for Freedom: A Slave Girl's Escape; it was written when she was 10. It concerned the escape to the North of an Arkansas slave girl, accompanied by Harriet Tubman.[15][17] She went on to study at Phillips Exeter Academy and Yale University. Erens has been a fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference[18] and the Sewanee Writers' Conference.[19] For many years she was an editor at Glamour magazine.[17] She lives in Maplewood, New Jersey.[20][21]


  1. 23 Contemporary Writers You Should Have Read by Now Retrieved 2015-07-23.
  2. "Meg Wolitzer on MATASHA in the New York Times!". PAMELA ERENS. Retrieved 2021-07-14.
  3. MATASHA | Kirkus Reviews.
  4. "Middlemarch and the Imperfect Life – Ig Publishing". Retrieved 2022-04-27.
  5. 2008 fiction finalist | Stanford University Libraries Retrieved 2015-07-23.
  6. "Book Prizes – Los Angeles Times Festival of Books» 2007 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes Winners". Archived from the original on 2013-04-24. Retrieved 2015-11-28.
  7. Retrieved 2015-07-23.
  9. Pamela Erens : News Archived 2015-07-24 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 2015-07-23.
  10. "The Books We Loved in 2016". The New Yorker. 13 December 2016.
  11. "NPR's Book Concierge".
  12. "Best Fiction of 2016 | Kirkus Reviews". Archived from the original on 2018-01-24.
  13. "Matasha – Ig Publishing". Retrieved 2021-07-14.
  14. "Shorter Pieces". PAMELA ERENS. Retrieved 2015-12-06.
  15. The Chicago Tribune, June 25, 1978, page 121 Retrieved 2015-07-23.
  16. SAIC - Patricia Erens - School of the Art Institute of Chicago Retrieved 2015-07-24.
  17. The Smoking Poet Interviews Pamela Erens Retrieved 2015-07-23.
  18. "Bread Loaf Writers' Conference 2015 Fellow and Scholar Bios" (PDF). Retrieved November 28, 2015.
  20. Maplewood Author Pamela Erens Talks About her Dark Side Retrieved 2015-07-23.
  21. Maplewood Literary Award — PAMELA ERENS Retrieved 2016-10-31.
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