Julia Flynn Siler is a prize-winning author and journalist. Her most recent book is Lost Kingdom: Hawaii’s Last Queen, the Sugar Kings, and America’s First Imperial Adventure, published by Grove/Atlantic in 2012. Her first book was the New York Times bestseller, The House of Mondavi.
As a veteran correspondent for the Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek magazine, Ms. Flynn Siler spent more than two decades in the Europe and the United States, reporting from a dozen countries. She has covered fields as varied as biotechnology, cult wines, puppy breeding, and a princess’s quest to restore a Hawaiian palace’s lost treasures.
A graduate of Brown University and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, Ms. Flynn Siler began her career as a staff correspondent for BusinessWeek, working in the magazine’s Los Angeles and Chicago bureaus. She wrote stories on everything from White Castle “sliders” to the roiling futures markets for the New York Times. By taking classes at night during that time, she earned an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management.
In 1993, she was awarded a fellowship to teach business journalism in Prague, where she organized a speaker series out of the Center for Independent Journalism, a not-for-profit organization supported in part by the New York Times Foundation. Ms. Flynn Siler then served as a London-based staff correspondent for BusinessWeek, where she was a member of BusinessWeek reporting teams that won a National Magazine Award, a Deadline Club award, as well as other honors.
As a longtime London-based foreign correspondent, she wrote about family business dynasties, millionaire dons at Oxford and Cambridge, and Virgin founder Richard Branson, among other subjects. Towards the end of her years in London, she joined the Wall Street Journal as its European management correspondent, traveling throughout the region to report stories. After returning to the U.S., one of the first articles she wrote for the Wall Street Journal was about the turmoil within the Mondavi family’s wine empire. It ran as a front page story in June of 2004.
That story led to her book The House of Mondavi, published by Penguin’s Gotham Books in 2007. It was honored as a finalist both for a James Beard Award and a Gerald Loeb Award for distinguished reporting and is now in its eleventh printing. It has also been optioned three times for a possible TV/Film adaptation. Ms. Flynn Siler continues to write feature stories for the Wall Street Journal out of its San Francisco bureau, and she helps produce WSJ.com videos to accompany some of these stories.
Her critically acclaimed second book, Lost Kingdom, was a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller. Ms. Flynn Siler was a 2013 recipient of the Ella Dickey Literacy Award, named in honor of a beloved librarian, and was honored at a ceremony in Missouri in April, 2013.
Ms. Flynn Siler is a longtime member of the San Francisco-based writing group North 24th Writers, whose members have published ten nonfiction books as well as hundreds of articles and essays in major magazines, newspapers and literary journals. She is also an emeritus member of the San Francisco Writer’s Grotto. She has taught journalism at the University of London’s Birkbeck college and has appeared as a commentator on the BBC, CBS, CNBC, National Public Radio, and elsewhere.
She serves on the alumni board of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and volunteers for Guide Dogs for the Blind. She and her family live in Northern California, where they enjoy mountain biking and skiing. They are frequent visitors to their local public libraries and are involved in a wide range of community activities.