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Dorothy Rice

Desert Nights, Rising Stars Exhibitor 2020

About Dorothy Rice

Dorothy Rice is the author of two published memoirs, GRAY IS THE NEW BLACK (Otis Books, June 2019) and THE RELUCTANT ARTIST (Shanti Arts, 2015). Her personal essays and fiction have been published in dozens of journals and magazines, including The Rumpus, Brain, Child Magazine, The Saturday Evening Post, Hippocampus and Brevity. An essay about her mother’s descent into Alzheimer’s was awarded second place in the 2018 Kalanithi Awards (honoring Paul Kalanithi, author of WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR) and her work has been nominated for a Pushcart and Best of the Net. After raising five children and retiring from a career managing statewide environmental protection programs, Rice earned an MFA in Creative Writing from UC Riverside, Palm Desert, at 60. She is also a certified Amherst Writers & Artists Method creative writing workshop facilitator and works for 916 Ink, a youth literacy nonprofit. You can find Dorothy at, and on twitter at @dorothyrowena.

More About Dorothy Rice

Gray is the New Black by Dorothy Rice (Otis Books, distributed by Small Press Distribution) Age happens. Gray is the New Black, while one woman's quest for self-acceptance and forgiveness, is also a universal story. In a 2005 essay, Nora Ephron wrote, “There’s a reason why 40, 50, and 60 don’t look the way they used to, and it’s not because of feminism or better living through exercise. It’s because of hair dye.” That essay coincided with the first time Rice grew out her gray hair—it didn’t last long. Fast forward fourteen years and after decades struggling to be thin, pretty, sexy and successful enough to deserve love and happiness, she devotes a year to cracking the code, a journey that forces her to confront the gnarled roots of female shame. Written in a year—about a year—Gray is the New Black is a memoir of self-discovery. This little black book takes readers along, sometimes hilariously, sometimes with heartbreak, on the writer’s oh-so-relatable quest to exorcise some past demons, accept herself at all ages (especially now, as she grows her hair out gray), forgive herself and look ahead with clear eyes.