Elizabeth Nunez emigrated from Trinidad to the US after completing high school. Nunez is provost at Medgar Evers College, the City University of New York, and an award-winning author.
She received her Ph.D. in English from New York University. She is the award-winning author of six novels: Prospero's Daughter (New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice and 2006 Florida Center for the Literary Arts One Book, One Community selection at the Miami Book Fair); Grace; Discretion (short-listed for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award); Bruised Hibiscus (American Book Award); Beyond the Limbo Silence (Independent Publishers Book Award); and When Rocks Dance. Called “a master of pacing and plotting,” in the New York Times review of Prospero’s Daughter, Nunez has a writing style that has reminded critics, among them Booklist, of Toni Morrison and Alice Walker. Black Issues Book Review describes Bruised Hibiscus as “moving, powerful and haunting.” Publisher’s Weekly says that the prose in Grace is “exquisitely tuned” and the narrative unfolds with “understated elegance,” and The Seattle Times comments that “Discretion delivers two memorable characters whose personal culture clashes, both shared and internalized, are as telling as those of the world they inhabit.”
Nunez is co-editor with Jennifer Sparrow of the anthology Stories from Blue Latitudes: Caribbean Women Writers at Home and Abroad, co-editor with Brenda Greene of the collection of essays, Black Writers in the 90's, and author of several monographs of literary criticism. She is a former fellow of Yaddo and MacDowell artist colonies. A cofounder of the National Black Writers Conference, and director from 1986-2000, Nunez received grant awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as grants from The Nathan Cummings Foundation and the Reed Foundation for these conferences. She continues her work in support of writers of color with her radio program on WBAI 99.5FM and as chair of the PEN American Open Book committee. She is executive producer of the 2004 NY Emmy-nominated CUNY TV series Black Writers in America. Her audiobooks include Grace and Prospero's Daughter (BBC/America) and Discretion (Recorded Books).