Helen Benedict, a professor at Columbia University, has written six novels, five non-fiction books and a play. Her latest novel, Sand Queen, was called “one of this year’s best new novels about war” by Publisher’s Weekly and NPR, while the Boston Globe called it, “‘The Things They Carried’ for women in Iraq.” In 2015, she was a finalist for the UK Liberty Human Rights Arts Award for her play, The Lonely Soldier. In, 2013, she was awarded the Ida B. Wells Award for Bravery in Journalism and named one of the 21 leaders for the 21st century by Women’s eNews in the US, and she has also won the Ken Book Award and the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism. Sand Queen and Benedict's nonfiction book, The Lonely Soldier, inspired a class action suit against the Pentagon on behalf of women and men who were sexually assaulted in the military and also inspired the 2012 Oscar-nominated documentary about sexual assault in the military The Invisible War.