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Sue Monk Kidd      

Author of "The Secret Life of Bees" & "The Invention of Wings"

Sue Monk Kidd was raised in the small town of Sylvester, Georgia, a place that deeply influenced the writing of her first novel "The Secret Life of Bees." She graduated from Texas Christian University in 1970 and later took creative writing courses at Emory University and Anderson College, as well as studying at Sewanee, Bread Loaf and other writers conferences.

Her book "When the Heart Waits," published by Harper SanFrancisco in 1990 has become a touchstone on contemplative spirituality. In 1996, Harper published "The Dance of the Dissident Daughter," describing Kidd’s journey into feminist theology, a memoir that had a groundbreaking effect within religious circles.

In her 40s, Kidd turned her attention to writing fiction, winning the South Carolina Fellowship in Literature and the 1996 Poets & Writers Exchange Program in Fiction. Her short stories appeared in TriQuarterly, Nimrod and other literary journals and received a Katherine Anne Porter award and citations in Best American Short Stories’ 100 Distinguished Stories.

When her first novel, "The Secret Life of Bees," was published by Viking in 2002, it became a genuine literary phenomenon, spending more than 2 and a half years on the New York Times bestseller list. It has been translated into 36 languages and sold more than 6 million copies in the U.S. and 8 million copies worldwide. "Bees" was named the Book Sense Paperback Book of the Year in 2004, long-listed for the 2002 Orange Prize in England and won numerous awards. For over a decade, the novel has been produced on stage by The American Place Theater, and in 2008 it was adapted into a movie by Fox Searchlight, which won the People’s Choice award for best movie and the NAACP Image award for best picture. It is taught widely in middle school, high school and college classrooms.

Kidd’s second novel, "The Mermaid Chair," has sold well over a million copies since its publication by Viking in 2005, reaching No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list and remaining on the hardcover and paperback lists for nine months. Winner of the 2005 Quill Award for General Fiction, the novel was longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, translated into 24 languages and made into a television movie by Lifetime.

The spiritual essays, meditations and inspirational stories Kidd wrote in her thirties were collected into a single volume, "Firstlight: The Early Inspiration Writings" and published by Guideposts Books in 2006 and Penguin in 2007.

After traveling with her daughter, Ann Kidd Taylor, to sacred sites in Greece, Turkey and France, Kidd and Taylor co-authored a memoir, "Traveling with Pomegranates: A Mother-Daughter Story." Published by Viking in 2009, it appeared on numerous bestseller lists, including the New York Times list and has been published in several languages.

"The Invention of Wings," Kidd’s third novel was published January 7, 2014 by Viking to wide critical acclaim, debuting on the New York Times bestseller list at No. 1. The novel was chosen for Oprah’s Book Club 2.0. Plans are underway to turn the book into a film.

Kidd serves on the board of advisers for Poets & Writers, Inc. She lives in Southwest Florida with her husband, Sandy.


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Interview: Sue Monk Kidd, Author Of 'The Invention Of Wings' : NPR

Sue Monk Kidd, the author of the best-selling The Secret Life of Bees, takes on both slavery and feminism in her novel The Invention of Wings. It's a story told by  ...

Good Books, Good Friends Book Club - Chicago Tribune

Author we would like to meet: Sue Monk Kidd to ask her how she was able to depict abolitionist Sarah Grimké and the horrific treatment of slaves in "The ...

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