Frances Dinkelspiel is an award-winning journalist and author who co-founded Cityside, the nonprofit news organization behind Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. She’s contributed to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Daily Beast, People, and AARP. She got her start in the news business as a staff writer at the Syracuse Newspapers and then at the San Jose Mercury News.
Frances is the author of two books, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California, which was a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller, one of the Chronicle’s best books of the year, and won a Golden Poppy award from the Northern California Independent Booksellers’ Association. Her second book, Tangled Vines: Greed, Murder, Obsession, and an Arsonist in the Vineyards of California, was a New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle bestseller and was named a best wine book of the year by the Wall Street Journal and Food and Wine magazine.
Frances got a degree in history from Stanford University and attended the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She has taught at UC Berkeley’s journalism school and at the Community of Writers program in the Sierra Nevada.
She has appeared in television shows and documentaries including American Greed, Who Do You Think You Are? (with Helen Hunt) and American Jerusalem: Jews and the Making of San Francisco.
Frances is a member of the San-Francisco-based writing group North 24th Writers, whose members have published more than two dozen non-fiction books. She has two adult daughters and lives in Berkeley with her husband, Gary.