Rene Denfeld is the internationally bestselling author of the novels

Winner of a prestigious French Prix award

Long list for the 2015 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction

IMPAC list International Dublin Literary Award

A New York Times Hero of the Year for her justice work

Recipient of the National Break The Silence Award

Finalist for the 2014 Flaherty First Novel Prize

Top #5 Books of the Year, Powell’s Books

Indie Next Picks

ALA Excellence in Fiction Award listing

Foyles Best of 2014

Harper Collins Canada #1 Fan Choice

Waterstones Book Club Pick


Rene is the author of the acclaimed novels The Child Finder, The Enchanted, and The Butterfly Girl. Her literary thrillers explore themes of survival, resiliency and redemption, and have earned starred Library Journal reviews, glowing NYTBR reviews, and Indie Next picks. Margaret Atwood has proclaimed her work “astonishing” and The Butterfly Girl a “heartbreaking, finger-gnawing, yet ultimately hopeful novel.” 

 Rene was the Chief Investigator at a public defender’s office and has worked hundreds of cases, including death row exonerations and helping rape trafficking victims. In addition to her advocacy work, Rene has been a foster adoptive parent for over twenty-five years. She was awarded the Break The Silence Award in Washington, DC for her social justice work. In 2017 the New York Times named a 2017 named her a hero of the year. 

The child of a difficult history herself, Rene is an accomplished speaker who loves connecting with others. Rene lives in Portland, Oregon, where she is the happy mom of three kids adopted from foster care as well as other foster kids. 

Click here for Rene’s essay on her death row work

Click here for her inspiring Modern Love Essay 

Click here for an interview with Rene in Psychology Today

photo by Owen Carey, 2019