Elizabeth Nunez

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Nunez at the 2008 Brooklyn Book Festival.

Elizabeth Nunez is a Trinidadian American novelist and distinguished professor of English at Hunter CollegeCUNY, New York City. Her novels have won a number of awards: Prospero's Daughter received the New York Times Editors' Choice and 2006 Novel of the Year from Black Issues Book Review,[1] Bruised Hibiscus won the 2001 American Book Award,[2] and Beyond the Limbo Silence won the 1999 Independent Publishers Book Award.[3] In addition, Nunez was shortlisted for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Discretion;[4] Boundaries was selected as a New York Times Editors' Choice and nominated for a 2012 NAACP Image Award; and Anna In-Between was selected for the 2010 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for literary excellence as well as a New York Times Editors' Choice and received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Library Journal.[5]


Early life[edit]

As early as nine-years old Nunez began writing and won the first place prize for the Tiny Tots writing contest in the Trinidad Guardian.[6] Nunez emigrated from Trinidad to the United States after completing high school at age 19 in 1963.[7]

Career Overview[edit]

Nunez arrived in the United States at age 19 to earn a BA in English from Marian College in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, and a MA and PhD in Literature from New York University.[8] Nunez began teaching at Medgar Evers College in 1972, a year after the college was established, and was instrumental in developing its writing curriculum.[9] Now, she is a distinguished professor at Hunter College and the author of eight novels as well as co-editor with Jennifer Sparrow of Stories from Blue Latitudes: Caribbean Women Writers at Home and Abroad, co-editor with Brenda Greene of the collection of essays, Black Writers in the 90's, and author of several monographs of literary criticism.[10]

In addition to developing her writing and teaching career, Nunez has developed programming to support other writers of color. She is the co-founder of the National Black Writers Conference,[11] which received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, and the Reed Foundation under her direction as its co-director from 1986-2000. Nunez also hosts a radio program on WBAI 99.5FM and chair of the PEN American Open Book Committee.[12]

Nunez was also the Executive Producer of the 2004 NY Emmy-nominated CUNY TV series Black Writers in America.[13]


  • When Rocks Dance (1986)
  • Beyond The Limbo Silence (1998)
  • Bruised Hibiscus (2000)
  • Discretion (2002)
  • Grace (2003)
  • Prospero's Daughter (2006)
  • Anna In Between (2010)
  • Boundaries (2011)


  1. ^ "Hunter College Faculty Profile". Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  2. ^ "American Book Award". Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "CUNY News". Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Hunter College Faculty Profile". 
  5. ^ "Elizabeth Nunez's Website". 
  6. ^ "Voices from the Gap". Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  7. ^ "Hunter College Faculty Profile". Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  8. ^ "Voices from the Gap". 
  9. ^ "Voices from the Gap". Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  10. ^ "Hunter College Facutly Profile". 
  11. ^ Lee, Felicia R. (2000-04-03). "Black Writers Warn of Losing The Momentum — New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2012-06-11. 
  12. ^ "Hunter College Faculty Profile". 
  13. ^ "Hunter College Faculty Profile". 

External links[edit]