Laura Fraser is the author, most recently, of All Over the Map (Harmony Books, 2010), which Booklist called “a winning coming-of-middle-age memoir.” Her previous book, An Italian Affair (Pantheon, 2001), was a New York Times best-selling travel memoir. Her first book, Losing It: America’s Obsession with Weight and the Industry that Feeds on It(Dutton, 1995), was a ground-breaking and award-winning exposé of the diet industry.Laura has been a freelance writer since she graduated from Wesleyan University in 1982, and has never otherwise held a full-time job. She published her first piece in the Jerusalem Post while volunteering on an Israeli kibbutz, which led her to realize she could actually make a career of traveling and writing. Over the years, she has written on a wide range of topics, particularly focusing on women’s health issues, travel, personal essays, and food as a way in to the hearts of other cultures.
Laura has been a contributing editor at Good Housekeeping, Health, More, and a columnist at the San Francisco Weekly and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. Her articles have been published in numerous other magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times, Gourmet, Afar, Tricycle Buddhist Review, Martha Stewart Living, Vogue, Glamour, Self, Mother Jones, Eating Well, Food & Wine, Town & Country Travel, Budget Travel, Marie Claire, Elle, Cooking Light, Redbook, Wired, the Industry Standard, Mirabella, Mademoiselle, Salon.com, the San Francisco Chronicle, Pacific News Service, Newsday, O, the Oprah Magazine and many others. Her work has been frequently anthologized, including in Best Food Writing and Best Women’s Travel Writing collections. She has been awarded the Bert Greene Award for Essay Writing by the International Association of Culinary Professionals and recognized by the Women’s Science Research Foundation for her reporting on women’s health issues.
As a teacher, Laura focuses on creativity and craft, giving students permission to write what they’re passionate about, then offering tools to make it clear, well-researched, thoughtfully ordered, and irresistible to the reader. She has taught magazine writing at the University of California at Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, San Francisco State University, Harvard’s Nieman Conference on Narrative Journalism, Esalen, Aspen Summer Words, the A Room of Her Own conference, the San Miguel de Allende Writers’ Workshop, and at the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto, among other venues. She also does personal coaching for experienced non-fiction writers.
Laura has given speeches and appearances at numerous universities and media outlets. In connection with her book on the diet industry, she appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, MTV, CNN, and many other national TV shows. She has been a frequent panelist at writing conferences and has told stories at San Francisco’s Porchlight series and on National Public Radio’s Morning Editing. She moderates panels at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco and at Berkeley Arts & Letters.