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Anna Quindlen
Anna Quindlen
 Social Critic
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Anna Quindlen
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Bestselling author, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and social critic Anna Quindlen balances the political with the personal, painting a more realistic picture of modern life by placing national affairs side by side with people’s daily lives. Millions of readers have followed her astute perspectives on today’s issues, from family, work, and education to health care, philanthropy, and social justice.

Twelve of Quindlen’s books, including seven of her novels, have appeared on The New York Times Best Sellers list. One True Thing became a feature film starring Renee Zellweger and Meryl Streep, and Black and Blue was made into TV movies. Her book, A Short Guide to A Happy Life, sold well over one million copies. 

Her latest New York Times Best Seller, Miller’s Valley, debuted at #6. “Quindlen makes her characters so richly alive, so believable, that it’s impossible not to feel every doubt and dream they harbor, or share every tragedy that befalls them,” wroteThe New York Times. Quindlen’s next novel, Alternate Side, is a provocative look at what it means to be a mother, a wife, and a woman at a moment of reckoning. It is due out in March 2018. 

Quindlen’s memoir on aging, Lots Of Candles, Plenty Of Cake  debuted at #1 on The New York Times Best Sellers list. Her follow-up NYT best seller, Still Life with Bread Crumbs, debuted at #3. 

One of the top “100 Outstanding Journalists in the United States of the Last 100 Years,” Quindlen began her career at age 18 as a copy girl. She spent three years as a reporter for The New York Post before moving to The New York Times in 1977. Working her way up The Times’ masthead, Quindlen wrote the “About New York” column, served as deputy metropolitan editor, and created the weekly “Life in the 30’s” column. 

In 1990, Quindlen became the third woman in The New York Times’ history to write for its influential Op-Ed page. Her nationally syndicated column “Public and Private” won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1992, and then, Quindlen wrote the “Last Word” column for Newsweek for 10 years. 

Quindlen serves on the Board of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and is an American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellow. The Child Welfare League of America established "The Anna Quindlen Award for Excellence in Journalism on Behalf of Children and Families.” She holds honorary degrees from more than 20 colleges and universities.

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Speaking Topics
Women in the 21st Century: The Balancing Act

The greatest social revolution in the last 50 years has been the changing status of women, in America and around the world. They now make up more than half of our work force, and dominate medical, law and journalism schools. So why has it been so hard for so many to find a balance between old roles and new ones? A call for a new paradigm–and for a men’s revolution in gender roles as well.

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Why Media Matters

After a year of nonstop drama and unpredictable turns, from the Presidential Election to Russian influence and voter tampering, social media as news outlet has made it difficult to separate the real news from the fake.

With so much coverage of current events on blogs, Twitter, and Facebook, many people have forgotten that the stories they care about most are still produced by more conventional sources. It is reporters and editors who reveal the concrete facts, who do the hard digging to bring us the truth. But without them, a Democracy can’t survive.

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Health Care in an Information Age: How Doctors, Nurses and Consumers Can Make One Another Better
Stuff is Not Salvation: The Opportunity For Personal Growth in a Troubled Economy

Americans have focused on how to survive this downturn. But what about how to thrive because of it? Some are reappraising the recent past and concluding that many of us consumed instead of living. Is this an opportunity to reassess our priorities, as a nation and as individuals? And will a less affluent America be a happier one?

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How Reading and Writing Will Ensure Our Democracy

It’s no accident that Hitler ordered book burnings. Reading and writing break down the walls between people, and bring down the big lies of demagoguery. That’s why a literate United States is a more tolerant and more democratic United States, and why a thirst for words may be the greatest legacy we hand down to our kids.

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A User's Guide to Democracy
Doing Well By Doing Good

Scientists have found that those who perform community service feel better than their peers, and that those who feel better are more likely to give back to their communities. In addition, the current generation of 20-somethings is the most philanthropic generation in American history, and America is the most philanthropic country in the world. Why charity has become our bedrock–and why that’s so good for everyone.  

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Additional Topics and Titles

The Good-Enough Parent: Why We’re Making Ourselves – and Our Children – Crazy 

Starting with Dr. Spock in the 60s, Americans have been bombarded about information on raising healthy kids. But all the research about the effects of nurturing have left many people micromanaging parenthood more—and enjoying it less. And what is to become of children whose parents have overseen everything from their homework to their college choices? A cogent call for sanity. 

The Next Generation of Americans: Philanthropic, Tolerant, Better Than Ever 

Johnny Won’t Read: A Primer on Books and the Future of America

Too many parents complain that their kids don’t read. That’s not just a problem for them, but for all of us. Reading helps us be more tolerant, more inclusive, and more able to surmount the challenges of our own lives. One lifelong reader ruminates on how to make it habit-forming. 

Is 60 the New 40: Middle-Age or Midlife?

Life expectancy in the United States has increased by more than a decade since the baby boomers were born. That offers terrific opportunities for reinvention–and new challenges for independence and good health. But can the boomers reinvent themselves as elders when they’ve been so wedded to staying young?  

An Evening with Anna Quindlen

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Books & Other Works
  • Miller's Valley
  • Alternate Side
  • Still Life with Bread Crumbs
  • Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake
  • A Short Guide to a Happy Life
  • Newsweek Cover Story: Yes He Can
  • Creating a Life You'll Love: Notable Achievers Offer Their Secrets for Happiness
  • Good Dog. Stay.
  • Rise and Shine
  • Being Perfect
  • Blessings: A Novel
  • One True Thing: A Novel
  • Loud and Clear
  • Black and Blue
  • How Reading Changed My Life
  • Object Lessons
  • Living Out Loud
  • Naked Babies
  • Happily Ever After
  • The Tree That Came to Stay
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“Brilliant affair. Who could possibly top Anna Quindlen....gracious, funny, smart, articulate, passionate, human. Everyone was inspired and had a very good feeling when they left. That comfortable feeling you get when all is right with the world....even if only for a brief period.”
Planned Parenthood Mercer
“Thank you once again for an insightful, personal, and poignant keynote.”
Administrative Professionals Conference
“Working with Anna Quindlen was a great pleasure. Even in a room of 800 people, you could have heard a pin drop during her speech. We’ve been bombarded with compliments; one even saying people at her table were moved to tears.”
The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina
“...You were an inspiration !...What a thrill it was to see so many hands held high in the queue for questions.”
Johnson & Johnson
“Anna was brilliant and the audience loved her.”
University of Maryland School of Social Work
“As a speaker, Anna Quindlen received a standing ovation from our audience of over 2,200. She was very friendly to everyone and gave one hundred plus percent of herself at each phase of our event.”
Maryville University
“You made a tremendous impression on everyone and your comments were certainly well received.”
National Association of Chain Drug Stores
“. ..Everyone loved your presentation. Guests truly were moved by your eloquent remarks about your experiences with family members who fought cancer and your observations about their care and caregivers. Your speech, so personal and heartfelt, served as the perfect keynote for a warm evening...You gave each of the thousand-plus people in that room something to think about. On behalf of the Schwartz folks, thanks for such an inspiring presentation.”
Massachusetts General Hospital
“Anna Quindlen was wonderful. Very nice and accommodating and speech was excellent--really on the mark.”
Kean University
“Anna was a fabulous guest and delivered an outstanding lecture with Q&A. I couldn’t be more pleased.”
University at Buffalo
“Your insights into the changing role of women, from the unrealized dreams of your own mother to the unassuming expectations of your daughter were provocative and insightful.”
Consumer Healthcare Products Association
“...Thank you for your powerful key note at our annual fund-raising event on May 2. We have had over 75 calls from women just wanting to let us know how much that day meant to them...Again, many thanks, Anna, for your memorable contribution to an amazing day for us.”
Women Helping Women Fund
“...Her talk on evolving family and professional roles was an artful blend of humor and insight...Please know how happy we were with this wonderful presentation.”
Suffolk University
“...Anna Quindlen was a huge hit!...she was truly inspirational.”
National Hockey League
“...Anna Quindlen was marvelous, everything worked like clockwork - her speech was like watching Fred Astaire dance; effortless and just perfect!”
Women's Haven of Tarrant County, TX
“...Over 1,000 turned out to hear her...Anna was warm, charming and informative. She is a special lady.”
National Council of Jewish Women
“Anna was very well received and did a great job.”
The Mechanical Contractors Association
“On behalf of The Business Women's Forum, THANK YOU! You were a huge hit!”
The Business Women
“Anna Quindlen's speech was tremendous and brought a great response from the crowd of 8,000 despite the steady rain. Even more than that, she impressed everyone she met, from students to trustees, with her friendliness and good humor. All in all, what could have turned out to be a literal washout, was a great success, thanks in no little part to Anna.”
Southern Connecticut State University
“Thank you for your keynote address, "A Short Guide to a Happy Life." Your presentation added valuable and personal insights on issues of great importance to our members.”
American Society for Healthcare Risk Management
Baby Boomers
Civic Engagement
Commencement Speakers
Community Service
Death & Dying
Domestic Violence
End of Life
First Year Experience
Health Care
Liberal Arts
Political Analysis
Pulitzer Prize
Reproductive Rights
Social Change
Social Commentary
Women & Workplace
Women's Health
Work-Life Balance
Writer's Life