“Everyone was moved and even more determined as a result of your insights and ideas.” — Laura Nissen, Director, Reclaiming Futures/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Meredith Maran is the award-winning author of a dozen books, a keynote speaker on women and aging and sex, and a regular contributor to The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and O Magazine. Meredith has spoken at venues ranging from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to the Charles Schwab Foundation, Stanford University, and UC Berkeley; she has been Writer in Residence at UCLA, the Mabel Dodge Luhan House, MacDowell, and Yaddo. A New York native turned Los Angeles aficionado, Meredith is a grandmother of three, a member of the National Book Critics Circle, and a passionate proponent of independent presses, bookstores, and thought. Meredith and her person, Denise, divide their time between Los Angeles and Palm Springs.

Meredith's Featured Titles

The New Old Me: My Late-Life Reinvention

Blue Rider Press |

“A funny, seasoned take on dashed illusions.”O Magazine 

“I love everything Meredith Maran writes. She is insightful, funny, and human, and the things she writes about matter to me deeply. Her memoir, The New Old Me, is a book I don’t just want to read—I need to read it. So does everyone else who’s getting older and wants to live fully, with immediacy and enjoyment, which is to say, everyone.”—Anne Lamott, author of Hallelujah Anyway

For readers of Anne Lamott, Abigail Thomas, and Ayelet Waldman comes one woman’s lusty, kickass, post-divorce memoir of starting over at 60 in youth-obsessed, beauty-obsessed Hollywood.

After the death of her best friend, the loss of her life’s savings, and the collapse of her once-happy marriage, Meredith Maran leaves her San Francisco freelance writer’s life for a 9-to-5 job in Los Angeles. Determined to rebuild not only her savings but also herself while relishing the joys of life in La-La land, Maran writes “a poignant story, a funny story, a moving story, and above all an American story of what it means to be a woman of a certain age in our time” (Christina Baker Kline, number-one New York Times–bestselling author of Orphan Train).

Why We Write About Ourselves: Twenty Memoirists on Why They Expose Themselves (and Others) in the Name of Literature

Plume |

In the voices of twenty landmark memoirists—including New York Times bestselling authors Cheryl Strayed, Sue Monk Kidd, and Pat Conroy—a definitive text on the craft of autobiographical writing, indispensable for amateur and professional writers alike.

For readers of Mary Karr’s The Art of Memoir and Judith Barrington’s Writing the Memoir, this follow-up to editor Meredith Maran’s acclaimed writers’ handbook, Why We Write, offers inspiration, encouragement, and pithy, practical advice for bloggers, journal-keepers, aspiring essayists, and memoirists.

Curated and edited by Maran, herself an acclaimed author and book critic, these memoirists share the lessons they’ve learned through years of honing their craft. They reveal what drives them to tell their personal stories and examine the nuts and bolts of how they do it. Speaking frankly about issues ranging from turning oneself into an authentic, compelling character to exposing hard truths, these outstanding authors disclose what keeps them going, what gets in their way, and what they love most—and least—about writing about themselves.

“It’s possible that Why We Write About Ourselves is the first compilation of memoirists at the top of their game seriously and thoughtfully considering the genre.”
– LA Times

A Theory of Small Earthquakes

Soft Skull |
“A family’s world is irrevocably rocked when an old female lover from Mom’s past reappears” in this “sexy, audacious, politically charged” novel (Vanity Fair).

Eager to escape her damaging past, Alison Rose is drawn to Zoe, a free-spirited artist who offers emotional stability and a love outside the norm. They spend a number of happy years together—until the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake deepens fissures in their relationship, and Alison leaves Zoe for a “normal” life with a man.

But Alison’s son is born in the midst of these complications and shifting emotional bonds, and ultimately the three adults must strive to create a life together that will test the boundaries and balance the needs of all. A story spanning two decades, set against the social, political, and geological upheavals of the Bay Area, A Theory of Small Earthquakes “explores the vagaries of love and the true nature of family” (People).

“[An] inventive, addictive novel [that] teaches us something new about love and sex, jealousy and loyalty, and also, and perhaps most importantly, motherhood.” —Ayelet Waldman, author of Bad Mother and Red Hook Road

“Call it “Two Women, One Man and a Baby.” Maran’s take on the modern family is at once unexpected and totally relatable.” —MORE

Dirty: A Search for Answers Inside America’s Teenage Drug Epidemic

HarperOne |

Venturing into uncharted territory, mother and award-winning journalist Meredith Maran takes us inside teenagers’ hearts, minds, and central nervous systems to explore the causes and consequences of our nation’s drug crisis. In these pages we get to know the kids, the parents, the therapists, and the drug treatment programs at their best and worst. We’re face-to-face with seventeen-year-old Mike, whose life revolves around selling, smoking, and snorting speed; fifteen-year-old Tristan — the boy next door — who can’t get enough pot, pills, or vodka; and sixteen-year-old Zalika, a runaway, crack dealer, and prostitute since the age of twelve. Combining powerful on-the-street reporting and groundbreaking research, Dirty is essential reading for every parent and professional who works with or cares about children or teenagers.

Class Dismissed: A Year in the Life of an American High School, A Glimpse into the Heart of a Nation

St. Martin’s Griffin |

Class Dismissed takes us inside California’s Berkeley High, one of the most ethnically diverse high schools in the country. For one year, author and journalist Meredith Maran reported on the lives of three different but representative students from the Class of 2000: a troubled yet well-meaning young white man from an affluent family, a highly gifted and academically overachieving young woman from a biracial background, and a functionally illiterate African American young man who excels at football.

In telling their stories, and in fully depicting their turbulent year as seniors—a year that saw arson, corruption, professional ineptitude, and dismal teacher morale—this book offers a fascinating, up-to-the-minute account of the socio-economic and racial realities in our public schools.

Maran’s eye-opening inquiry also shows how even a progressively multi-racial educational institution like Berkeley High can operate not as one school with a common objective but as several different schools under one roof, where students’ opportunities and options are as limited as they are varied. Revealing as much about our society as it does about our teenagers, Class Dismissed is a must-read for everyone interested in the possibilities and truths behind American public education today.


Sex and the Century


Women's Sexuality Today


Feminism and Sex Today


Is Sex the New Kale?


Sixty Years of Female Sexuality, As Seen By My Vagina


Hamilton Meets 50 Shades of Gay


Women and Aging and Sex


MY LIE: A True Story of False Memory

During the 1980s and 1990s, tens of thousands of Americans became convinced that they had repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse, and then, decades later, recovered those memories in therapy.

Journalist, mother, and daughter Meredith Maran was one of them. Exploring the psychological, cultural, and neuroscientific causes of this modern American witch-hunt, My Lie asks: how could so many people come to believe the same lie at the same time? What has neuroscience discovered about the brain’s capacity to create false memories and encode false beliefs? What are the “big lies” gaining traction in American culture today—and how can we keep them from taking hold? My Lie proves the personal is indeed political—and the political can become painfully personal.

Book Reviews

Honors, Awards & Recognition

San Francisco Chronicle

Media Kit

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