Michelle Huneven (born August 14, 1953) is a Californian novelist and journalist. Huneven was born and raised in Altadena, California, where she returned to live in 2001. She received an MFA from the Iowa Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa.
Huneven’s novels explore related themes of recovery and maturation. Her first novel, Round Rock (Knopf 1997), follows a graduate student’s reluctant path to sobriety at a drunk farm in rural California. Jamesland (Knopf 2003) is set in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, where three struggling souls: a Unitarian minister, a descendant of William James and an erstwhile chef, help each other learn to get by. Both novels were designated "Notable Books of the Year" by the New York Times.
Her third novel Blame (2009) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Award. It portrays the journey of a young history professor after accidentally killing two people while driving drunk.
Huneven's short fiction has been published in Harpers, Redbook, and literary magazines. She received a Whiting Writers' Award in 2002.
Huneven has worked as a restaurant critic and food writer for the LA Weekly and the LA Times. Her food journalism has also been published in the New York Times, O, Gourmet, Food and Wine, and other publications. She won the 1995 award for Newspaper Feature Writing from the James Beard Foundation and several American Food Journalists awards.
Huneven co-authored wrote the Tao Gals’ Guide to Real Estate (Bloomsbury 2006), a combination narrative and guidebook for women purchasing homes. Her essays have appeared in the following anthologies: Horse People, Dog is My Co-Pilot, The Knitter's Gift, Death by Pad Thai, and Mr. Wrong.
She teaches creative writing at UCLA and at Occidental College.