Sue Monk Kidd’s bestselling debut novel, The Secret Life of Bees, has enchanted critics and readers alike, bringing her literary renown and establishing her as one of the most popular writers working today. Taught widely in colleges and high schools, The Secret Life of Bees is Southern storytelling at its finest and is fast becoming a modern classic. The novel has spent more than two and a half years on The New York Times bestseller list, has sold six million copies, and has been translated into 23 languages. It was produced onstage in New York and has been made into an award-winning movie. Barnes & Noble listed The Secret Life of Bees as the sixth bestselling book of the decade.
Kidd’s follow-up, The Mermaid Chair, is an “emotionally rich novel, full of sultry, magical descriptions of life in the South” and an exploration of the yearning for a soul mate. It immediately found its way onto the hardcover bestseller list where it stayed for six months, reaching the #1 spot on The New York Times list. Winner of the 2005 Quill Award for General Fiction, The Mermaid Chair has sold over 1.8 million copies and was adapted into a television movie.
“Kidd has a flair for making us see her characters with great vividness and immediacy.”
—The New York Times Book Review
Kidd followed these novels with Traveling with Pomegranates, a mother-daughter travel memoir coauthored with her daughter, Ann Kidd Taylor. A New York Times bestseller, this revealing memoir relates the stories of two women—a fiftysomething and a twentysomething—each at a crossroads, each on a quest to rediscover herself and one another. A wise and involving memoir about feminine identities and the mother-daughter bond, Traveling with Pomegranates has been called “a probing literary collaboration” by Publishers Weekly and a “stunning account of inner journeys, separate and intertwined” by Booklist.
Her latest novel, The Invention of Wings, published in 2014, was selected for Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 and was a New York Times bestseller. Returning to the lush setting of her past novels, The Invention of Wings is set in Kidd’s familiar South Carolina in the early nineteenth century, and is inspired in part by the historical figure of abolitionist and suffragist Sarah Grimke. The novel chronicles the thirty-five-year relationship between two women who are bonded in childhood—Sarah, the daughter of a wealthy Charleston family, and one of her family’s slaves, Hetty “Handful” Grimke, who yearns for freedom. This exquisitely written novel is a triumph of storytelling that looks with unswerving eyes at one of the most devastating wounds in American history.
Kidd is also the author of three highly regarded spiritual memoirs: God’s Joyful Surprise, When the Heart Waits, and The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, which together comprise her groundbreaking work in the field of feminine spirituality and feminist theology. Firstlight, a collection of her early writings and essays, is a compilation of inspirational stories, spiritual essays, and meditations that Kidd wrote from the age of thirty until forty-two. It offers an intimate glimpse into her formative years as a writer and a spiritual seeker.
Sue Monk Kidd has received numerous writing awards and honors, including the 2004 Book Sense Paperback Book of the Year for The Secret Life of Bees and a nomination for the Orange Prize in England. The Invention of Wings was longlisted for the international DUBLIN literary award.
In her lectures, Kidd discusses her work—its themes and meanings; the inspiration for her stories and characters; the experience of becoming a writer, “Southern-ness” in literature; and the intersection of writing, creativity, and soul. She lives with her husband, Sandy, in Florida.
For more information on Sue Monk Kidd, please visit www.suemonkkidd.com/.