Judith Freeman is a novelist, critic, and essayist whose most recent novel, MacArthur Park, will be released by Pantheon Books on Oct. 12, 2021. Her memoir, The Latter Days, was published by Pantheon in June 2016. Kirkus has called the book “a poignant, searching memoir of self-discovery.”
Her first book, a collection of short stories, Family Attractions (1988), was praised in the New York Times for its originality. Her novels include, The Chinchilla Farm (1989), Set For Life (1991), A Desert of Pure Feeling (1996), and Red Water, named one of the 100 best books of 2002 by the Los Angeles Times. She is also the author of the non-fiction work The Long Embrace: Raymond Chandler and the Woman He Loved, hailed by Jonathan Lethem as an “elegant, stirring book.”
She received a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 1997, and also won the Western Heritage Award for her novel, Set For Life in 1992. She has taught writing at the University of Southern California and other writing workshops around the country. Her essays and articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and other periodicals. In 2005, she received a Visiting Fellowship from the Rothermere American Institute at Oxford where she did research in the Raymond Chandler archive at the Bodleian Library. She also was a visiting artist at Johns Hopkins University where she completed the work on The Long Embrace. In 2011 she was awarded the Erle Stanley Gardner Fellowship to do further research into the Los Angeles of Raymond Chandler, at the Harry Ransom Center in Austin, Texas.
She has collaborated with other artists and writers on projects. During a year spent in Rome in 1999, she collaborated with the prize-winning composer Chris Theofanidis, providing the text for Song of Elos, a piece for soprano and string instruments that was performed at Carnegie Hall, The American Academy of Rome, and the Da Camera Society in Houston. She also traveled to India in 1992 with her friend, the photographer Tina Barney, where they spent seven weeks photographing and writing about an extended family in Rajasthan. She lives in Los Angeles and rural Idaho with her husband, artist-photographer Anthony Hernandez.