For 30 years, Anna Quindlen has taught us — in reporting, in opinion columns, and in fiction — what it means to live decent lives as families and why it can sometimes be difficult-to-impossible to do. Along the way, she has told us some unwelcome truths, balanced with wit and attention to the beauty and joy of ordinary lives in challenging times. Her novels have probed the hard circumstances of lives broken and lives fulfilled, exploring collateral damage caused by personal choices or political decisions. Always, she reminds us that it is what we are to each other that gives our lives meaning.
Quindlen has received many awards, and inspired one: The Child Welfare League of America’s Anna Quindlen Award for Excellence in Journalism recognize journalists who advance our understanding of vulnerable children and families in America.
She began as a copy girl at the New York Post at 18 and flourished in journalism when women were not entirely welcome there. Named as only the third woman op-ed columnist for The New York Times in 1990, she earned a Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1992. More recently, she has been a columnist for Newsweek for many years, featured on the coveted last page.
There are many paths to telling truths. She has shown how both journalism and fiction can do so. Grinnell College is proud to join many of our peers in honoring Anna Quindlen for her compassion, her wit, and her dedication to telling the truth.