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Gina Berriault Edit Profile


Gina Berriault, American writer. Radcliffe Institute Independent Study scholar; Centro Mexicano de Escritores, Mexico City, 1963; recipient Aga Khan prize Paris Review, O. Henry award.


Berriault was born in Long Beach, California, to Russian-Jewish immigrant parents. Her father was a freelance writer and Berriault took her inspiration from him, using his stand-up typewriter to write her first stories while still in grammar school.


Berriault had a prolific writing career, which included stories, novels and screenplays. Her writing tended to focus on life in and around San Francisco. Berriault taught writing at the Iowa Writers Workshop and San Francisco State University.

She adapted her short story "The Stone Boy" for a film of the same title, released in 1984. The same story had previously been adapted by another writer for a 1960 television presentation. The Gina Berriault Award, created by Peter Orner and Fourteen Hills Review at San Francisco State University in 2009, honors Berriault's legacy.

Berriault died in 1999, at age 73, at Marin General Hospital in Greenbrae, California.


  • She published four novels and three collections of short stories, including Women in Their Beds: New & Selected Stories (1996), which won the PEN/Faulkner Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award. In 1997 Berriault was chosen as winner of the Rea Award for the Short Story, for outstanding achievement in that genre. She also received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Ingram-Merrill Fellowship, a Commonwealth Gold Medal for Literature, the Pushcart Prize and several O'Henry prizes.



Married J.V. Berriault (divorced). 1 child, Julie Elena.

J.V. Berriault

Julie Elena Berriault