Columbia University Journalism Professor and Fiction Writer to Give Reading at Ashland University

Columbia University Journalism Professor and Fiction Writer to Give Reading at Ashland University

3/31/16 ASHLAND, Ohio – Helen Benedict, professor of journalism at Columbia University and author of multiple novels and non-fiction books, will be reading from her acclaimed 2012 novel, “Sand Queen,” as part of Ashland University’s English Department Spring 2016 Reading Series.

This event will be held April 18 from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Ridenour Room (115 Dauch) located in the Dauch College of Business and Economics. The event, which is free and open to the public, replaces the canceled Jeffrey Lent reading event that was scheduled for April 20.

“Sand Queen” was called “one of this year’s best new novels about war” by Publisher’s Weekly and NPR, while the Boston Globe called it “‘The Things They Carried’ for women in Iraq.” In 2015, she was a finalist for the UK Liberty Human Rights Arts Award for her play, “The Lonely Soldier.” 

In 2013, she was awarded the Ida B. Wells Award for Bravery in Journalism and named one of the 21 leaders for the 21st century by Women’s eNews in the U.S., and she has also won the Ken Book Award and the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism.

“Sand Queen” and Benedict's nonfiction book, “The Lonely Soldier,” inspired a class action suit against the Pentagon on behalf of women and men who were sexually assaulted in the military and also inspired the 2012 Oscar-nominated documentary about sexual assault in the military, “The Invisible War.”

More information on Benedict can be found at

Ashland University, ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2016, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.