Dinitia Smith

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Dinita Smith
Born Cumberland, Maryland
Occupation Author
Nationality United States

Dinitia Smith (born December 26, 1945) is an American author and filmmaker. She was previously a culture reporter for The New York Times.


Dinitia Smith was born in Cumberland, Maryland, and raised primarily in Great Britain, where her father was a journalist. She came to the United States in 1959, and lived in New York City and Westchester. After graduating from Smith College,[1] she worked as a reporter for the Associated Press in New York.[2] She enrolled in the New York University Film School, and in 1971 obtained a Masters of Fine Arts. That year, she wrote and directed her first film, Passing Quietly Through, under her then-married name McCarthy.[3] That film was one of the first films by a woman to be chosen for the New York Film Festival. Smith continued to make documentaries, including some with American documentary filmmaker, David Grubin,[4] and also wrote several screenplays.[5] Her films have been shown at the Whitney Museum and the Museum of Modern Art.[6]

In 1975, Smith won an Emmy Award for a film she made for WNBC – TV.[7] She published her first novel, The Hard Rain, in 1980. Her second novel, Remember This, won her fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts[8] and the Ingram Merrill Foundation.[9] Her short fiction has been published in numerous literary journals.[10][11]

Smith was also a contributing editor at New York magazine;[12] from 1995 to 2006 she worked for The New York Times, where she wrote about arts and intellectual trends and ideas.[13] Her third novel, The Illusionist, published in 1997, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.[14] The Honeymoon, her biographical novel about the 19th century writer George Eliot, was published in 2016. The New York Times wrote that "Smith's enchanting account humanizes a figure renowned as much for her refutation of conventional female stereotypes and social limitations as for her genius for story and language".[15] A reviewer for the Washington Post called the book "the perfect example of when fictional storytelling about an eminent person is warranted".[16]

Smith has taught at Columbia University and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.[17]

Personal life[edit]

Smith is married to David Nasaw,[18] an author and historian, and the Arthur M. Schlesinger Professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She has twin sons: Peter Caleb Nasaw (b. 1980), a social worker,[19] and Daniel Nasaw, an editor at The Wall Street Journal.[20][21][22]



  1. ^ "Smith College: NewsSmith". www.smith.edu. Retrieved 2015-10-30. 
  2. ^ "The Daily Mail, Hagerstown, MD". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 21 May 2015. 
  3. ^ "Passing-Quietly-Through - Trailer - Cast - Showtimes - NYTimes.com". www.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2015-10-30. 
  4. ^ "Somerset Daily American". Retrieved 6 Nov 2015. 
  5. ^ McAllister, Gwyn. "Homosexual witch hunt the subject of a new play". Martha's Vineyard Times. Retrieved 2015-10-30. 
  6. ^ "Art Workshop International". Archived from the original on 2016-08-22. Retrieved 6 Nov 2015. 
  7. ^ "18th Annual New York Emmy Awards Winners". New York Emmy Awards. Retrieved 21 May 2015. 
  8. ^ "Dinitia Smith". National Endowment for the Arts. Retrieved 21 May 2015. 
  9. ^ "Dinitia Smith". Creative Writing Program. Retrieved 7 May 2015. 
  10. ^ "Magic". www.hudsonreview.com. Retrieved 6 Nov 2015. 
  11. ^ "Valentine's Day". www.nereview.com. Retrieved 6 Nov 2015. 
  12. ^ "Dinitia Smith, "The Puritans"". New York Magazine. Retrieved 21 May 2015. 
  13. ^ "Dinita Smith Leaves Full-Time Post at NYT". GalleyCat. Retrieved 7 May 2015. 
  14. ^ "Notable Books of the Year 1997". www.nytimes.com. Retrieved 30 June 2015. 
  15. ^ Christensen, Lauren (2016-06-17). "Writers' Lives Reimagined". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-04-13. 
  16. ^ Rioux, Anne Boyd; Rioux, Anne Boyd (2016-05-05). "George Eliot's brief marriage got off to a really, really bad start". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2017-04-13. 
  17. ^ "Faculty Details: Dinitia Smtih". Art Workshop International. Archived from the original on 23 December 2008. Retrieved 30 June 2015. 
  18. ^ "Layla Moughari, Daniel Nasaw". The New York Times. 2014-08-31. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-11-06. 
  19. ^ "NASAW PETER CALEB - NY - Social Worker Lookup". www.socialworkerlookup.com. Retrieved 2016-02-02. 
  20. ^ "Nasaw, David 1945- - Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series | HighBeam Research". www.highbeam.com. Retrieved 2016-01-22. 
  21. ^ "Layla Moughari, Daniel Nasaw". The New York Times. 2014-08-31. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-04-13. 
  22. ^ "Daniel Nasaw - News, Articles, Biography, Photos - WSJ.com". WSJ. Retrieved 2017-04-13.