Sue Monk Kidd Biography


  • Sue Monk Kidd was born August 12, 1948, in Sylvester, Georgia. As a teenager, she was influenced by Henry David Thoreau's Walden and Kate Chopin's The Awakening. She also listened to the honeybees in the wall of her home.
  • Graduated with a B.S. degree in nursing from Texas Christian University in 1970.
  • Married Sandy Kidd; they have two children.
  • Worked as a registered nurse in Fort Worth, Texas, and then taught nursing at the Medical College of Georgia.
  • By age 30, Monk Kidd began working as a freelance writer of nonfiction articles and biographies. Her writing contained Christian themes, and she was a contributing editor to Guideposts Magazine. Then she took courses in writing at Emory University and attended writers' conferences, including the prestigious Sewanee and Bread Loaf Writing Conferences. Her writing contained themes that had always interested her: Western religion; theology; and spirituality.
  • In the 1980s, Monk Kidd published two books of nonfiction: God's Joyful Surprise: Finding Yourself Loved (1987) and All Things are Possible (1988).
  • In 1990, she published God's Hidden Blessings: God Can Touch Your Life When You Least Expect It and also When the Heart Waits: Spiritual Direction for Life's Sacred Questions.
  • In 1994, Monk Kidd wrote a short story version of The Secret Life of Bees, winning a number of awards for new writers as well as awards at writers' conferences.
  • In 1997, she began to write the novel of The Secret Life of Bees, basing much of the context of the times on her years of growing up during the 1960s in the South.
  • She then published two spiritual books of nonfiction: The Dance of the Dissident Daughter: A Woman's Journey from Christian Tradition to the Sacred Feminine (2002) and A Luminous Presence: One Woman's Awakening to the Inner Life (2005).
  • The Secret Life of Bees was published in 2002 to critical acclaim and numerous awards. Awards include: Nominee for the Orange Prize for excellence in women's fiction (England), 2002; Literature to Life Award, American Place Theater, New York, NY, 2004; the Book of the Year award, Book Sense, 2004. The Secret Life of Bees was also chosen for Good Morning America's Book Club.
  • In 2004, The Secret Life of Bees was adapted for the stage and produced by the American Place Theater, New York, NY.
  • Monk Kidd published The Mermaid Chair 2005 and won the Quill Award for General Fiction. It was produced as a movie by Lifetime television.
  • In 2006, her early writings were released as a collection called Firelight by Guideposts Books, and in 2007, Penguin paperbacks produced a paperback edition.
  • In October 2008, the film version of The Secret Life of Bees was released by Fox Searchlight.
  • Currently Kidd is a writer-in-residence at The Sophia Institute in Charleston, South Carolina.