Patricia Foster is the author of two books of nonfiction and the editor of three anthologies of nonfiction prose. Just beneath My Skin (University of Georgia Press, 2004), her latest book, is a collection of essays that explores autobiography as a means of creative self-examination. Kirkus Review (starred) called it “perceptive, thoughtful – and thought-provoking – with abundant moments of insight,” whereas the American Library Association noted that “although writers can feel alone and alienated, Foster seems to have found a place of redemption, where she is at home living beyond the ordinary, which, in turn, infuses her writing with its notable lyricism.” Four essays in this collection were named Notable Essays by Robert Atwan (Best American Essays) while “A Second Look” won the Mary Roberts Rinehart Award for nonfiction.
Patricia Foster began her book publishing career with the anthology Minding the Body: Women Writers on Body and Soul (Anchor/Doubleday, 1994), a book translated into German, Dutch and Portuguese, chosen as a QPB Paperback selection, and performed as a play by the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. Sister to Sister (Anchor/Doubleday, 1996), The Healing Circle co-edited with Mary Swander (Dutton, 1998), and a memoir, All the Lost Girls (University of Alabama, 2000), winner of the PEN/Jerard Fund Award for Women’s Nonfiction, all continued her interest in narrative nonfiction.
In addition to personal essays, Patricia Foster is a writer of fiction and a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She has published both fiction and nonfiction in such literary quarterlies as the Gettysburg Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Iowa Review, Shenandoah, Prairie Schooner and Fourth Genre. She won a Lake Effect Fiction Award, a Florida Arts Council Award, a Yaddo residency, four Alabama Arts & Humanities Awards, and a Dean’s Scholar Award (University of Iowa). In 2003, she was an exchange professor at Paul Valery University in Montpellier, France.
In addition to her MFA in fiction, Patricia has an MFA in art (UCLA) and a Ph.D. in women’s literature and creative writing (Florida State University).