Jill Ciment

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Jill Ciment
Born (1955-05-20) May 20, 1955 (age 64)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
OccupationMemoirist, novelist, and professor

Jill Ciment (born March 19, 1953) is an American writer.


Ciment was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She studied art at the California Institute of Arts (CalArts), under John Baldessari.[1] She earned her BFA from CalArts in 1975.[2] She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of California, Irvine in 1981.[3]

Ciment is a professor of English at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. Her novel, Heroic Measures was one of titles chosen by Oprah Winfrey's Book Club for 2009 summer reading.[4] This book was also one of the top five finalists for the Los Angeles Times Book Award for 2010.[5] 5 Flights Up, a film adaptation of Heroic Measures starring Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton, was released in the U.S. on May 8, 2015.

She was married to artist Arnold Mesches until his death in 2016.

Grants and literary awards[edit]

  • Two New York State Foundation for the Arts Fellowship (1996 and 2002)[6]
  • National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship (2005)[7]
  • Guggenheim Foundation grant (2006)[8]
  • The Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize (2005)[9]
  • NEA Japan Fellowship Prize

Books by Ciment[edit]

  • The Body in Question, Pantheon, 2019 (novel)
  • The Hand That Feeds You, (with Amy Hempel) writing as A J Rich, Scribner, 2015 (novel)
  • Act of God, Pantheon, 2015 (novel)
  • Heroic Measures, Pantheon, 2009 (novel)
  • The Tattoo Artist, Pantheon, 2005 (novel)
  • Teeth of the Dog, Crown, 1998 (novel)
  • Half a Life, Crown, 1996 (memoir)
  • The Law of Falling Bodies, Poseidon, 1993 (novel)
  • Small Claims, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1986 (novellas and stories)


  1. ^ "ARNOLD MESCHES and JILL CIMENT with Robert Storr and Phong Bui". Brooklynrail.org. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
  2. ^ "Noted Novelist Brings Remarkable Personal Story To Davidson Classroom". Davidson.edu. Archived from the original on 24 February 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
  3. ^ "Jill Ciment : Professor". English.ufl.edu. Archived from the original on 20 October 2015. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
  4. ^ "Heroic Measures by Jill Ciment". Oprah.com. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
  5. ^ "2009 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes Winners". Events.latimes.com. Archived from the original on 11 November 2014. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
  6. ^ "Directory of Artists' Fellows, 1985-2013" (PDF). www.nyfa.org. New York Foundation for the Arts. Retrieved January 3, 2017.
  7. ^ "'Half a life' is a long phone call from a friend (Review)". The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, VA). 1996. Retrieved January 3, 2017 – via HighBeam Research.[dead link] Quote from source: She has ... received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and others.
  8. ^ "Jill Ciment". www.gf.org. 2006. Retrieved January 3, 2017.
  9. ^ "Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize—Past Recipients". www.rochester.edu. 2005. Retrieved January 3, 2017.