Dolen Perkins-Valdez is the New York Times-bestselling author of Wench (2010), Balm (2015), and Take My Hand (April 2022). Wench was a finalist for two NAACP Image Awards and the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for fiction. In 2013, Dolen wrote the introduction to a special edition of Solomon Northup’s Twelve Years a Slave, published by Simon & Schuster, which became a New York Times bestseller. Dolen is the current Chair of the Board of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation and is Associate Professor in the Literature Department at American University in Washington, DC. dolenperkinsvaldez.