2016 Whiting Award in Fiction;
2016 NEA Fellowship in Literature
Faulkner said, "The past is never dead. It’s not even past" and this is the guiding principal of my work. Whether it is fiction about the legacies of eugenics and scientific racism in American life; the historical context of black girl sadness in the latest Netflix obsession or the literary precedents of the latest Zadie Smith novel, my fiction and cultural criticism is always concerned with answering the question, "How did we get here?" In my own past, I have extensive experience in education reform and digital education efforts; historical interpretation; and the power and craft of fiction writing. Ultimately, I work from the belief that stories without context can only get us so far. Stories, with knowledge, can make the right people dangerous.
. . . witty and provocative . . . Greenidge deftly handles a host of complex themes and characters, exploring not just how (literally) institutionalized racism is, but the difficulty of an effective response to it . . . Greenidge doesn’t march to a pat answer; the power of the book is in her understanding of how clarity wriggles out of reach. For all the seriousness of its themes, though, Charlie Freeman is also caustically funny. —USA Today
Kaitlyn Greenidge’s masterful debut novel We Love You, Charlie Freeman is at heart an examination of race and language — an African-American family is hired by a New England research institute to raise and teach sign language to a chimpanzee, but the institute has a shockingly dark past. We Love You, Charlie Freeman skillfully tackles history and heavy subjects with both humor and thoughtfulness; this book proves Greenidge will be a literary force to be reckoned with. —Buzzfeed.com
. . . Greenidge pulls together the multiple story lines and strong perspectives of Charlotte and Nymphadora with her descriptive powers, lively dialogue and a fluid, engaging style. With this ambitious, compelling novel, she brings an original and thoughtful voice to the exploration of the complexities and ambiguities of race and gender, what it means to be a family, the relationship between humans and wild animals in domestic settings and the failures of communication across cultures and species.—Minneapolis Star Tribune [on We Love You, Charlie Freeman]
Kaitlyn Greenidge's debut novel, We Love You, Charlie Freeman (Algonquin Books), was one of the New York Times Critics' Top 10 Books of 2016 and was a finalist for the Center For Fiction's First Novel Prize, the New York Public Library's Young Lions Award and winner of the Forward Fiction Prize. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times,The Wall Street Journal, Elle.com, Buzzfeed, the Believer, Glamour Magazine and other places. She is a contributing editor for LENNY Letter and a recipient of an NEA Fellowship in Literature and a 2016 Whiting Award. She is currently Visiting Writer in Syracuse University's Creative Writing Program and teaches in Bennington College's MFA Program. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.