Jennifer Senior is a staff writer at The Atlantic and winner of the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing for “Twenty Years Gone,” an unflinching portrait of a family’s reckoning with loss in the 20 years since 9/11. That article will be published as a standalone book in April 2023 under the title On Grief, expanding a body of work that for years has probed questions of relationships, loneliness, loss, humanity, and modern society. That work also includes The Atlantic piece “It’s Your Friends Who Break Your Heart,” and the themes of human connection and the ways we need each other are what will drive Senior’s presentation as part of the Chautauqua Lecture Series week “On Friendship.”
Prior to joining The Atlantic, Senior spent five years at The New York Times — first as one of its three daily book critics, then as a columnist for the Opinion page. Before that, she spent 18 years as a staff writer for New York Magazine, writing profiles and cover stories about politics, social science, and mental health. She has won a variety of journalism prizes, including a GLAAD award, two Front Page Awards from the Newswomen’s Club of New York, and the Erikson Prize in Mental Health Media. Her work has been anthologized four times in The Best American Political Writing, and her feature about the suicide of the psychologist Philip Brickman — an expert on the psychology of happiness —was selected for The Best American Science Writing Of 2021. Senior is also the author of All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood.
A graduate of Princeton University, Senior has been a frequent guest on NPR and numerous television programs, and has been a speaker at TED’s annual conference and at the Sydney Opera House.