Dolen Perkins-Valdez
Photo by Norman E. Jones Photography

Dolen Perkins-Valdez is the New York Times bestselling author of Wench (2010), Balm (2015), and most recently Take My Hand (2022). Take My Hand was named a Most Anticipated Book of 2022 by Newsweek, San Francisco Chronicle, Essence, NBC News, and elsewhere. The novel was a finalist for a Goodreads Choice Award and named a Top 20 Book of the Year by the Editors at Amazon.  It was awarded the 2023 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work-Fiction and the 2023 BCALA Award for Fiction. The audiobook version of Take My Hand was named a Best of 2022 by Audible.

The American Bar Association recently awarded Take My Hand  its prestigious Silver Gavel Award which recognizes an "outstanding work that fosters the American public's understanding of law and the legal system."

In 2011, Wench was a finalist for two NAACP Image Awards and the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for fiction, and in 2017, HarperCollins released Wench as one of eight "Olive Titles," limited edition modern classics that included books by Edward P. Jones, Louise Erdrich, and Zora Neale Hurston.

Dolen has established herself as a pre-eminent chronicler of American historical life.  In 2013, she wrote the introduction to a special edition of Solomon Northup's Twelve Years a Slave, published by Simon & Schuster, which became a New York Times bestseller. She followed that with an introduction to Elizabeth Keckly's Behind the Scenes, published in 2016, and the forthcoming 75th anniversary of George Orwell's 1984 which will be published by Penguin Random House in 2023.

Dolen is a three-time nominee for a United States Artists Fellowship and is currently Associate Professor in the Literature Department at American University and lives in Washington, DC with her family.


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