Elizabeth Nunez is a Trinidadian American novelist and distinguished professor of English at Hunter CollegeCUNY, New York City.

Elizabeth Nunez
at 2016 Fall for the Book
at 2016 Fall for the Book
Alma materMarian College,
New York University
Genresnovel, memoir

Her novels have won a number of awards: Prospero's Daughter received the New York Times Editors' Choice and 2006 Novel of the Year from Black Issues Book Review,[1] Bruised Hibiscus won the 2001 American Book Award,[2] and Beyond the Limbo Silence won the 1999 Independent Publishers Book Award.[3] In addition, Nunez was shortlisted for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Discretion;[1] Boundaries was selected as a New York Times Editors' Choice and nominated for a 2012 NAACP Image Award; and Anna In-Between was selected for the 2010 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for literary excellence as well as a New York Times Editors' Choice and received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Library Journal.[4]


Early lifeEdit

As early as nine-years of age Nunez began writing and won the first-place prize for the Tiny Tots writing contest in the Trinidad Guardian.[5] She emigrated from Trinidad to the United States after completing high school at the age of 19 in 1963.[1]

Career overviewEdit

Nunez at the 2008 Brooklyn Book Festival.

Nunez arrived in the United States at age 19 to earn a BA in English from Marian College in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, and a MA and PhD in Literature from New York University.[5] She began teaching at Medgar Evers College in 1972, a year after the college was established, and was instrumental in developing its writing curriculum.[5] Now, she is a distinguished professor at Hunter College and the author of eight novels as well as co-editor with Jennifer Sparrow of Stories from Blue Latitudes: Caribbean Women Writers at Home and Abroad, co-editor with Brenda Greene of the collection of essays Black Writers in the 90's, and author of several monographs of literary criticism.[1]

In addition to developing her writing and teaching career, Nunez has developed programming to support other writers of color. She is the co-founder of the National Black Writers Conference,[6] which received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, and the Reed Foundation under her direction as its co-director from 1986-2000. Nunez also hosts a radio program on WBAI 99.5FM and chair of the PEN American Open Book Committee.[1]

Nunez was also the Executive Producer of the 2004 NY Emmy-nominated CUNY TV series Black Writers in America.[1]


  • When Rocks Dance (1986)
  • Beyond The Limbo Silence (1998)
  • Bruised Hibiscus (2000)
  • Discretion (2002)
  • Grace (2003)
  • Prospero's Daughter (2006)
  • Anna In Between (2010)
  • Boundaries (2011)
  • Not for Everyday Use (2014)
  • Even in Paradise (2016)


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Hunter College Faculty Profile". Retrieved 26 April 2013.
  2. ^ American Book Awards#2000 to 2009
  3. ^ "CUNY News". Retrieved 26 April 2013.
  4. ^ "Elizabeth Nunez's Website".
  5. ^ a b c "Voices from the Gap". Retrieved 26 April 2013.
  6. ^ Lee, Felicia R. (2000-04-03). "Black Writers Warn of Losing The Momentum". New York Times. Retrieved 11 June 2012.

External linksEdit