Photo by Deborah Feingold

Photo by Deborah Feingold

Melanie Benjamin

Melanie Benjamin is the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling historical novels The Swans of Fifth Avenue, about Truman Capote and his society swans, and The Aviator's Wife, a novel about Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Her latest historical novel, The Girls in the Picture, is about the friendship and creative partnership between two of Hollywood's earliest female legends—screenwriter Frances Marion and superstar Mary Pickford.

Her next novel, Mistress of the Ritz, will be out in May 2019. Based on true events, Mistress of the Ritz is a taut tale of suspense wrapped up in a love story for the ages, the inspiring story of a woman and a man who discover the best in each other amid the turbulence of war.

Previous historical novels include the national bestseller Alice I Have Been, about Alice Liddell, the inspiration for Alice in Wonderland, and The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb, the story of 32-inch-tall Lavinia Warren Stratton, a star during the Gilded Age.

Her novels have been translated in over fifteen languages, featured in national magazines such as Good Housekeeping, People, and Entertainment Weekly, and optioned for film.

Melanie is a native of the Midwest, having grown up in Indianapolis, Indiana, where she pursued her first love, theater. After raising her two sons, Melanie, a life-long reader (including being the proud winner, two years in a row, of her hometown library's summer reading program!), decided to pursue a writing career. After writing her own parenting column for a local magazine, and winning a short story contest, Melanie published two contemporary novels under her real name, Melanie Hauser, before turning to historical fiction.

Melanie lives in Chicago with her husband, and near her two grown sons. In addition to writing, she puts her theatrical training to good use by frequently appearing for literary events around the country. When she isn't writing or speaking, she's reading. And always looking for new stories to tell.

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Talks and Topics

  • Mistress of the Ritz Author Presentation

  • Girls in the Picture Author Presentation

  • Swans of Fifth Avenue Author Presentation

  • The Aviator's Wife Author Presentation

  • Writing Famous Women's Lives

  • An Author's Journey

  • Reinvention: From Stay at Home Mom to NYT Bestselling Writer

One of the pleasures of THE GIRLS IN THE PICTURE its no-males-necessary alliance of two determined females—#TimesUp before its time. . . . Inspiration is a rare and unexpected gift in a book filled with the fluff of Hollywood, but Benjamin provides it.
— NPR


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Previous & Upcoming Events:

  • May 2019: San Antonio Public Library Luncheon - San Antonio, TX

  • Sept 25, 2018: Palos Reads - Chicago, IL

  • Apr. 29, 2017: Florence-Lauderdale Public Library - Florence, AL

  • Mar 21, 2017: Literary Society of the Desert - Palm Springs, CA

  • Mar 3, 2017: Sanibel Public Library Foundation - Sanibel, FL

  • Mar 3, 2016: Mobile Public Library - Mobile, AL

  • Nov 14, 2015: Grosse Pointe Library - Grosse Pointe, MI

  • Oct 12, 2015: Peoria Public Library - Peoria, IL

In the News: