Anne Fadiman (born August 7, 1953 in New York City) is an American essayist and reporter.

Her interests include literary journalism, essays, memoir, and autobiography.[2]

Early life and education

She is the daughter of the renowned literary, radio, and television personality Clifton Fadiman and World War II correspondent and author Annalee Jacoby Fadiman.[3] She attended Harvard University, graduating in 1975 from Radcliffe College with a bachelor of arts degree.[4] At Harvard, she roomed with Wendy Lesser (Benazir Bhutto and Kathleen Kennedy were also in the same dorm).[1]



Fadiman's 1997 book The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures won the 1997 National Book Critics Circle Award as well as the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Current Interest, and the Salon Book Award. Researched in a small county hospital in California, it examined a Hmong family from Laos with a child with epilepsy, and their cultural, linguistic, and medical struggles with the American medical system.[5]

She has authored two books of essays, Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader (1998) and At Large and At Small: Familiar Essays (2007), a collection of essays on Samuel Taylor Coleridge, postal history, and ice cream, among other topics; it was the source of an unencrypted quotation in the New York Times Sunday Acrostic. She also edited Rereadings: Seventeen Writers Revisit Books They Love (2005) and the Best American Essays 2003 (2003).[2]

Fadiman has published a memoir about her relationship with her father, The Wine Lover's Daughter (2017).


Fadiman was a founding editor of the Library of Congress magazine Civilization.

She was the fourth editor of the Phi Beta Kappa quarterly The American Scholar since 1997, and under her direction, it won three National Magazine Awards in six years. She left The American Scholar, where she was paid an annual salary of $60,000, in 2004, in the midst of a dispute over budgetary issues. At the time of her departure the journal faced a budget deficit of about $250,000 and a circulation of about 28,000.[6]


Since January 2005, in a program established by Yale alumnus Paul E. Francis, Anne Fadiman has been Yale University's first Francis Writer in Residence, a position that allows her to teach one or two non-fiction writing seminars each year, and advise, mentor, and interact with students and editors of undergraduate publications.[7][8]

In 2012 she received the Richard H. Brodhead '68 Prize for Teaching Excellence by Non-Ladder Faculty.[9]

Personal life

Fadiman is married to the American author George Howe Colt. They have two children and a dog named Typo.[1]

External links


  1. ^ a b c Smokler, Kevin. "Reading 'til 3:00 am: An Interview with Anne Fadiman". Rain Taxi (Winter 2008/09). 
  2. ^ a b "Faculty: Anne Fadiman". Yale University English Department. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  3. ^ "Anne Fadiman, a Writer, Wed to George Howe Colt". New York Times. 5 March 1989. 
  4. ^ SpiritCatchesYou.com
  5. ^ "The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down". Macmillan. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  6. ^ Eakin, Emily, "Literary Journal's Editor to Leave in Budget Dispute", The New York Times, March 30, 2004
  7. ^ "Author Fadiman named first Francis Writer in Residence". Yale Bulletin and Calendar. May 7, 2004. 
  8. ^ "Francis Writer-in-Residence"
  9. ^ Gonzalez, Susan (20 April 2012). "In Anne Fadiman's writing classes, it's all about making what is good 'even better'". YaleNews.