BOOKS

FICTION
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Wolf Season

After a hurricane devastates a small town in upstate New York, the lives of three women and their young children are irrevocably changed. Rin, an Iraq War veteran, tries to protect her blind daughter and the three wolves under her care. Naema, a widowed doctor who fled Iraq with her wounded son, faces life-threatening injuries. Beth, who is raising a troubled son, waits out her marine husband’s deployment in Afghanistan, equally afraid of him coming home and of him never returning at all. As they struggle to maintain their humanity and find hope, their war-torn lives collide in a way that will affect their entire community.

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Sand Queen

Nineteen-year-old Kate Brady joined the army to bring honor to her family and to the Middle East. Instead, she finds herself in a forgotten corner of the Iraq desert in 2003, guarding a makeshift American prison. There, Kate meets Naema Jassim, an Iraqi medical student whose father and little brother have been detained in the camp.
Kate and Naema promise to help each other, but the war soon strains their intentions. Like any soldier, Kate must face the daily threats of combat duty, but as a woman, she is in equal danger from the predatory men in her unit. Naema suffers bombs, starvation, and the loss of her home and family. As the two women struggle to survive and hold on to the people they love, each comes to have a drastic and unforeseeable effect on the other’s life.

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Edge of Eden

In 1960, when her husband, Rupert, a British diplomat, is posted to the remote Seychelle Islands in the Indian Ocean, Penelope is less than thrilled. But she never imagined the danger that awaited her family there. Her sun-kissed children run barefoot on the beach and become enraptured by the ancient magic, or grigri, in the tropical colonial outpost. Rupert, meanwhile, falls under the spell of a local beauty who won’t stop until she gets what she wants.
Desperate to save her marriage, Penelope turns to black magic, exposing her family to the island’s sinister underbelly. Ultimately, Penny and her family suffer unimaginable casualties, rendering their lives profoundly and forever changed. Helen Benedict’s acerbic wit and lush descriptions serve up a page-turner brimming with jealousy, sex, and witchcraft in a darkly exotic Eden.

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Opposite of Love

Madge is biraccial and her light brown skin has made her feel like an outcast, until she spends a week with her cousin in New York City.

 

There she befriends a small boy with skin the color of her own and no one to care for him. On impulse, Madge takes the boy back home with her. Ultimately, she finds that caring for a child isn’t easy, and neither is finding a middle ground between love and indifference.

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Bad Angel

Told in shifting first-person narratives, this compelling novel vividly evokes the the lives of the women and children in one of New York City's toughest barrios, showcasing a variety of memorable characters.

 

"An authentic account of hardship and faith."

--The New York Times Book Review.

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Sailor's Wife

A tour de force of storytelling, The Sailor's Wife is a powerful glimpse at an ancient culture, where a modern woman is plunked down in a world totally alien to her. Joyce Perlman, a nave young woman from a Miami suburb, meets and marries a Greek merchant marine named Nikos. He takes her back to his peasant parents on a remote Greek island, and leaves her there, rarely returning, for over two years. Joyce finds herself living the merciless life of a Greek peasant woman, at the command of people steeped in religion, misogyny, superstition and their experience of war. Yet, she loves it. For the first time in her life, she feels she has a purpose. She finds the village community, the urgency of farming and the love of her in-laws more rewarding than anything she experienced in what she considers her empty life in her Florida suburb. 

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A World Like This

After her release from Bullwood Hall, a prison for minors, Brandy finds it difficult to start a new life encumbered with the habits she developed to help her survive prison life

NONFICTION
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The Lonely Soldier:
The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq

The Lonely Soldier--the inspiration for the documentary The Invisible War--vividly tells the stories of five women who fought in Iraq between 2003 and 2006--and of the challenges they faced while fighting a war painfully alone.

More American women have fought and died in Iraq than in any war since World War Two, yet as soldiers they are still painfully alone. In Iraq, only one in ten troops is a woman, and she often serves in a unit with few other women or none at all. 

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Recovery

This guide offers the survivors of rape and their friends and relatives a body of knowledge drawn from social workers and social scientists on the short-and long-term effects of rape.

 

It includes details of AIDS, date rape, rape crisis programmes, rape shelters and other social resources.

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Virgin or Vamp:
How the Press Covers Sex Crimes

Available at a lower price from other sellers that may not offer free Prime shipping.

In the last few years, the national press has lavished coverage on several major sex-related scandals: the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill hearings, the William Kennedy Smith rape trial, and the Mike Tyson case. With each event came lurid stories pitting either a loose or virginal woman against an unwilling or monstrous man. Such extreme coverage, argues Helen Benedict, perpetuates myths that are harmful to victims of these crimes (and sometimes to the accused).

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Portraits in Print:
A Collection of Profiles and the Stories Behind Them

The journalistic profile is one of the most popular, widely read types of magazine feature writing. Helen Benedict, a master of the genre, has collected for Portraits in Print nine of her best pieces, and provided a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the art of portrait journalism.

Among the persons profiled here are Joseph Brodsky, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Susan Sontag, Paule Marshall, Bernard Malamud, and Beverly Sills. 

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Safe, Strong & Streetwise

Section titles include

"Who Would Hurt You and Why,"

"Your Sexual Rights and Responsibilities,"

"Protecting Yourself Inside,"

"Self-defense,"

and "Getting Help."

Includes an appendix for parents.

PLAYS
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The Lonely Soldier Monologues: Women at War in Iraq

Helen Benedict, the playwright, created these seven monologues from interviews she conducted for her book, THE LONELY SOLDIER: THE PRIVATE WAR OF WOMEN SERVING IN IRAQ (Beacon Press, 2009.) Most of the monologues come from taped interviews, but some are combined with letters the soldiers wrote by e-mail. All are in the actual words of the soldiers. The marching cadences are also all those actually used by soldiers and marines. No words in this play are fictionalized.

STUDY GUIDES

Helen Benedict enjoys talking with reading groups.

Go to the contact page to make arrangements for a Skype call, phone call or visit. 

The following study guides are available for her novels: