Melissa Febos is the author of four books, including the memoir, Whip Smart (St. Martin’s Press 2010), which Terry Gross called “fascinating” and Kirkus Reviews said “expertly captures grace within depravity,” and the essay collection, Abandon Me (Bloomsbury 2017), which was a LAMBDA Literary Award finalist, a Publishing Triangle Award finalist, an Indie Next Pick, and was widely named a best book of 2017. Her third book, Girlhood (Bloomsbury 2021), was a National Bestseller, a LAMBDA Literary Award finalist, and won the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism. Most recently, she published a craft book, Body Work: The Radical Power of Personal Narrative (Catapult), which was a National Bestseller and an LA Times Bestseller. Her fifth book, The Dry Season, is under contract with Alfred A. Knopf.
Febos is a 2022 Guggenheim Fellow, a 2022 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow, and the winner of the Jeanne Córdova Nonfiction Award from LAMBDA Literary. She has been awarded other prizes and fellowships from The British Library, The Black Mountain Institute, MacDowell, Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Vermont Studio Center, The Barbara Deming Memorial Foundation, The Bogliasco Foundation, The BAU Institute at the Camargo Foundation, Ucross Foundation, The Ragdale Foundation, and others.
The recipient of an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, her essays have recently appeared in The New York Review of Books, Tin House, Granta, The Paris Review, The Yale Review, The Sun, The Believer, The Sewanee Review, and The New York Times Magazine.
Professor Febos served on the department’s IDEAS (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Social Justice) Committee for the 2020-21 academic year. She is BUILD Certified, and has completed the following voluntary trainings:
- BUILD: BEYOND THE NUMBERS-FOUNDATIONS FOR DIVERSITY, EQUITY, & INCLUSION
- BUILD: EXPLORING THE INFLUENCE OF IMPLICIT BIAS IN OUR WORK AND LIVES--THE RESEARCH, IMPACT, AND STRATEGIES TO OVERRIDE
- BUILD: A CLOSER LOOK AT RACE IN AMERICA
- BUILD: THEORY TO PRACTICE-ENGAGING WITH DIFFERENT TYPES OF ACTIVISM
- BUILD: LAND ACKNOWLEDGMENT-RECOGNIZING AND RESPECTING INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
- BUILD: PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER-STRATEGIES FOR MANAGING DIFFICULT CONVERSATIONS
- BUILD: RESPONSIBLE ACTION-DISABILITY ACCOMMODATIONS ON CAMPUS