Sarah Churchwell is writer and a professor of American Literature and Public Understanding of the Humanities at the School of Advanced Studies, University of London.

Churchwell grew up in Illinois. She earned a BA in English Literature from Vassar College and an MA and PhD in English and American Literature from Princeton University. Churchwell lectured at the University of East Anglia from 1999 until 2015 and was Writer in Residence at the Eccles Centre for American Studies in 2015. Her expertise is in 20th- and 21st-century American literature and cultural history, especially the 1920s and 1930s. She has appeared on British television and radio and has been a judge for the Baillie Gifford Prize, the Women’s Prize for Fiction, and the David Cohen Prize for Literature. She is the director of the Being Human festival and the author of three books: The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe; Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and the Invention of The Great Gatsby; and Behold America: A History of America First and the American Dream. In 2021, she was long listed for the Orwell Prize for Journalism.