Kelly Corrigan

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Kelly Corrigan
Kelly Corrigan in 2009
Kelly Corrigan in 2009
Born August 16, 1967 (1967-08-16) (age 51)
Occupation Writer
Residence San Francisco Bay Area
Genre Memoir, non-fiction

Kelly Corrigan (born August 16, 1967) is an American writer.[1] She is a graduate of The University of Richmond and received a Masters in Literature from San Francisco State University. She is also the host of Foreword, a series where top notch thinkers take on big time ideas. Season One guests include Margaret Atwood, Walter Isaacson, BJ Novak, Jason Segel and John Cleese.[2]


Corrigan's first book, “The Middle Place,” is a memoir about her Irish-American father’s battle with cancer and her own triumph over the disease.[3] It was published on January 8, 2008 (hardcover) and December 23, 2008 (paperback). At its peak, the hardcover reached #2 on the Non-fiction New York Times bestseller list.[4] The paperback has reached #2 on the Trade Paperback Non-fiction New York Times bestseller list to date.[5] "The Middle Place" was also recognized by Barnes and Noble as part of the "Discover Great New Writers" campaign.

Her second book, entitled "Lift" and published in 2010, also reaching #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, is written in the form of a letter to her children, and is an examination of risk and parenthood through the lens of 3 true stories.

“Glitter and Glue,” Corrigan’s third book, debuted at #2 on The New York Times bestseller list Random House in February 2014. Her paperback, Feb 17 2015, is the inspiration for the Glitter and Glue for Good tour, a string of 16 fundraisers for the causes her readers care about most, including Girls on the Run, Gilda's Place and Clearity.

Corrigan is also the author of an essay about "women's remarkable capacity to support each other, to laugh together, and to endure" called Transcending, a reading of which by the author and released by Hyperion/Voice became a YouTube sensation.[6] The video has received over 4 million views on YouTube to date.

In addition to her long form work in memoir and nonfiction, Corrigan has contributed to O, The Oprah Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Glamour, and other print and online publications. She is a four-time guest on The Today Show.

Cancer Outreach[edit]

Shortly after her own battle with breast cancer, Corrigan launched Circus of Cancer, a how-to web site for friends and family of women with the disease. The website includes a photo album of her own struggle against breast cancer and writings in such categories as "Finding a Lump" and "Losing My Hair." Below is an excerpt from "Getting the Diagnosis":

At 1pm, Emily Birenbaum called and said these exact words: "Kelly, I understand that you called in this morning. I have the biopsy report and Kelly, it's cancer." I called out, "Edward!" and he came to me and we crowded around the phone, politely asking the simplest of questions. "Is the test always correct?" "Does it say how much cancer there is?" "Could it be a false positive?" After a very short conversation where we learned the phrase 'invasive ductal carcinoma', we hung up. The girls were at our knees, needing to be fed and put down for a nap. There was so much to do, on so many fronts, that the only thing to do was to start doing.

Notes and Words[edit]

Corrigan created the annual benefit concert "Notes and Words" in 2010, and has since raised over $5 million for Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute in Oakland, California. An annual event, Notes & Words features bestselling authors and top recording artists onstage together at the Fox Theatre in Oakland. The event in 2014 raised over $728,000 and had an attendance of 1900 people. The co-chairs of the philanthropy – Corrigan, Melissa Williams and Kristina Smith – are all grateful parents whose children have received services and care from Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland.

Past Notes and Words performers include Michael Lewis, Anne Lamott, Michael Chabon, as well as musicians CAKE and The Family Crest. The 2013 lineup included G. Love and Special Sauce, Goodnight, Texas, Oakland School of the Arts, Billy Collins, Mary Roach, Kelly Corrigan herself, and Lauren Graham.



  • "The Middle Place" (2008)
  • "Lift" (2010)
  • "Glitter and Glue" (2014)
  • "Tell Me More" (2018)


  1. ^ "The Nantucket Project: How Clichés Are Getting in the Way of Your Success". TIME. Nov 17, 2014. Retrieved 2014-11-18. 
  2. ^ "Biography". Kelly Corrigan. 
  3. ^ "Disney Books Official Site - Disney Publishing Worldwide". Disney Books - Disney Publishing Worldwide. 
  4. ^ "BEST SELLERS: NONFICTION: Sunday, February 3rd 2008". February 3, 2008 – via 
  5. ^ "The New York Times Best Sellers". 
  6. ^ voicevoices (December 8, 2008). "Transcending: Words on Women and Strength by Kelly Corrigan" – via YouTube.