Helen Benedict is the author of five novels and five books of nonfiction. Her sixth novel, SAND QUEEN, set in the Iraq War, was published in August 2011 by Soho Press. Culled from real life stories of female soldiers and Iraqis, SAND QUEEN offers a story of love, courage and struggle from the rare perspective of two young women on opposite sides of a war. SAND QUEEN is based on Benedict’s research for her most recent nonfiction book, THE LONELY SOLDIER: THE PRIVATE WAR OF WOMEN SERVING IN IRAQ (Beacon Press, 2009 and 2010). THE LONELY SOLDIER has won several awards, including the EMMA (Exception Merit in Media Award) from the National Women's Political Caucus and the Ken Book Award, both in 2010. Benedict has testified twice to Congress on behalf of women soldiers, and lectures at colleges and military academies around the country about gender justice and the military. Her book and play about women soldiers inspired the the February 2011 class action suit against the Pentagon and Secretaries of Defense Rumsfeld and Gates on behalf of military women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted while serving. Benedict's other novels are THE EDGE OF EDEN, THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE, THE SAILOR'S WIFE, BAD ANGEL, and A WORLD LIKE THIS.
A play Benedict wrote based on her interviews with women soldiers, THE LONELY SOLDIER MONOLOGUES, was produced in 2009 and 2010 at two New York City Theaters, The Theater for the New City and La Mama Experimental Theatre Club, and is currently being performed at several campus theaters around the country. The play is available for further productions.