Beverly Friend


Beverly Friend


Free lance writer, lecturer, and desktop publisher, Beverly Friend, Ph.D., currently is Theater Critic for the Pioneer Press City Group (Skyline, New Star, Booster), and formerly was the Science Fiction Book Reviewer for the Chicago Daily News. An Emeritus Professor of English and Journalism at Oakton Community College, and Executive Director and Website Publisher for the China Judaic Studies Association (, her numerous articles have appeared in journals and academic publications.

As a founding member of the Science Fiction Research Association, she has chaired several national conferences and was head of the Academic Track for the 2001 World Science Fiction Convention in Chicago. Her books include “Science Fiction: The Classroom in Orbit, (Educational Impact 1974) “The Science Fiction Fan Cult” (dissertation, Northwestern University, 1975), “Legends of the Chinese Jews of Kaifeng (with Professor Xu Xin, KTAV, 1995).

She serves on the boards of the Oakton Community College Emeritus and Annuitants Associations, and Free Arts of Illinois, and lectures for Oakton’s Emeritus Program and the Bluestem Humanities Festival, as well as on topics related to China/Judaic studies. She was a member of the steering committee for the American Theater Critics at their annual conference when it met in Chicago. She has led a tour to China, presented Elderhostel classes, and last summer lectured for Page and Stage during their annual Stratford, Ontario Theater Tour.

Friend is also a percussionist with Heavy Shtetl, the Jewish Reconstructionist Synagogue Klezmer Band. In addition, she annually selects the winner and presents an award for literary criticism at the Society of Midland Authors, in memory of her late husband, James Friend.

Beverly Friend’s autbiograpy — “No Girls in the Marching Band A Memoir” —
is avaliable at

Beverly can be reached by email at: