Nancy Price

Nancy Price -- (March 16, 1925)

Nancy Price is a prize-winning poet, short story writer, and the author of 11 books. Sleeping with the Enemy (1987) was made into the very popular film of that name starring Julia Roberts. The book is set in Cedar Falls as are 5 of her other books. Price is a long-time Cedar Falls resident.

A quote from her website describes her response to getting published: ".. I can't believe that I—a housewife in Cedar Falls, Iowa–saw my poems and short stories appear in magazines, newspapers, and books.” Nancy Price.

Events for this Author

Nancy Price -- July 2017

Friday, July 14: Seerley Park Sleeping with the Enemy Weekend Festival

6 p.m.: Beer garden and music, sponsored by the College Hill Partnership. Price’s autographed books will be available for sale in the Park

9 p.m.: Outdoor screening of Sleeping with the Enemy in Seerley Park, sponsored by the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center

Saturday, July 15 – CF Tour of Homes tours of the four homes surrounding Seerley Park connected to Sleeping with the Enemy (Price’s home on Iowa Street; 3 homes across the Park on Tremont St. that appear in the novel and also the UNI President’s home, where Nancy lived as a teenager) 1 to 4 p.m.

Tickets for the Tour of Homes cost $10 (which is a donation to CHP as a non-profit)

Buy Tickets prior to the event: Visitor and Tourism on Hudson Rd., Hearst Center for the Arts on W. Seerley Blvd. and Sidecar Coffee on the Hill.

Buy Tickets the Day of: Seerley Park Shelter and UNI President's home on College St.


Iowa street house
2310 tremont
2316 tremont
Presidents house

2309 Iowa Street

2310 Tremont

2316 Tremont

The UNI President's House

Sunday, July 16 – Public Panel Discussion: “Sleeping with the Enemy: Novel vs. Film,” 2 p.m., Hearst Center, Grant Tracey, Greg Holt, UNI student, Barbara Lounsberry (moderator); Nancy Price will be present to answer questions and sign books.

nancy w book sleeping w the enemy
nancy in red jacket
dvd cover for sleeping w the enemy
Nancy at a book fair with her illustrations

Nancy poses with her best-selling novel, Sleeping with The Enemy

Nancy holding her novel, No One Knows

Sleeping with the Enemy movie

Nancy at a book fair, showing illustrations and photos; Umbrella member Barbara Lounsberry sits nearby


“I was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and raised in Detroit, but it seems to me that I spent my childhood in books,” Nancy Price says. “At fourteen I saw a poem of mine published in the Detroit News, and there I was: a writer.” Nancy received her B.A. in English and art from Cornell College in 1946. In 1945 she married Howard J. Thompson, who joined the faculty of the University of Northern Iowa. Their three children, Catherine, John, and David, were born in the 1950s. In 1961 Nancy studied with Philip Booth and John Holmes at Tufts University and began to publish her poetry. “I wrote poems in the hours before my husband and three children woke, and we danced jigs together when the poems, and my stories, too, appeared in the Saturday Review…the Atlantic Monthly…the Quarterly Review of Literature…the New York Times…the Virginia Quarterly Review,” Nancy says. In the next decade, more than one hundred of her poems and several short stories appeared in print. In 1964 she received her M.A. from the University of Northern Iowa, completed further graduate coursework at the Writers Workshop, University of Iowa, and taught at U.N.I. She wrote her first novel in 1973, A Natural Death, a story of South Carolina life before the Civil War."

Connection to Cedar Falls

nancy price w family 40s

The UNI Special Collections contained this photo of Nancy Price with her parents and brother in the 1940s.

"Much of the novel is set in a city very much like Cedar Falls with a university very much like UNI. Price, an accomplished poet as well as a novelist, is the daughter of the fourth president of UNI, Malcolm P. Price, the man for whom Price Laboratory School is named.

Price received her M.A. degree in Education from UNI in 1964. She taught in the Department of English Language and Literature for many years. She is currently on leave.

Nancy Price is shown in this photograph with her father (President Price), mother, and brother during the 1940s."

In addition, Nancy Price married a Professor at the University of Northern Iowa and raised her family here. She has lived in the Cedar Falls area for many years.

She set several stories in Cedar Falls, including Sleeping with the Enemy.

List of Works

A Natural Death (Atlantic/Little, Brown, 1973)

An Accomplished Woman (Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1979)

Sleeping With the Enemy (Simon & Schuster, 1987)

Night Woman (Pocket Books, 1992)

Two Liars and a Bride (Presses de la Cité, 2003)

No One Knows (Malmarie Press, 2004)

Two Voices and a Moon (Malmarie Press, 2007)

200 Men, One Woman: A Novel (Malmarie Press 2009)

Stolen Away: A Novel (Malmarie Press 2010)

Playing with Fire (Malmarie Press 2012)

Three at the Door (Malmarie Press 2017)

Want to Find a Book by Nancy Price?

Try the Cedar Falls Public Library: here is a list of her books in their collection.


Nancy Price has also written poetry: you can view some of her poems on her website.

Her website:

Blog Post on Nancy Price from Screenwriting from Iowa blog.

Blog post about Nancy Price and Sleeping with the Enemy.

An article on the making of the movie, with 21 fun facts.

Last updated March 5, 2021

Cherie Dargan, Webmaster