Helen Phillips

Photo credit David Barry


“A master of building slightly askew worlds that resemble our own.”

Los Angeles Times 


Helen Phillips's fifth book, The Need, is forthcoming in 2019 from Simon & Schuster in the U.S., and from Chatto & Windus in the U.K. 

Helen's short story collection Some Possible Solutions (Henry Holt, 2016) received the 2017 John Gardner Fiction Book Award. Her novel The Beautiful Bureaucrat (Henry Holt, 2015), a New York Times Notable Book of 2015, was a finalist for the New York Public Library's Young Lions Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Her collection And Yet They Were Happy (Leapfrog Press, 2011) was named a notable collection by The Story Prize. Her children’s adventure book Here Where the Sunbeams Are Green (Delacorte Press, 2012) was published internationally as Upside Down in the Jungle.

Helen has received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, the Italo Calvino Prize in Fabulist Fiction, the Iowa Review Nonfiction Award, the DIAGRAM Innovative Fiction Award, and a Ucross Foundation residency.

Her work has been featured on Selected Shorts, at the Brooklyn Museum, and in the Atlantic Monthly, the New York Times, and Tin House, among others. Her books have been (or will soon be) translated into Chinese, Korean, Italian, German, Spanish, and Polish.

A graduate of Yale and the Brooklyn College MFA program, she is an associate professor at Brooklyn College. Born and raised in Colorado, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband, artist Adam Douglas Thompson, and their children.