Anna Thomas (born July 12, 1948) is a film screenwriter, film producer and writer. She was born in Stuttgart, Germany, to a Polish family and came to the United States as an infant. She grew up in Michigan and California.
Thomas met her future husband Gregory Nava while working on her master's degree at University of California, Los Angeles. They married in 1975 and have collaborated on many projects. They have two sons: Christopher (born 1984) and Teddy (born 1985).
While at the film school at UCLA Thomas wrote, produced and directed her master's thesis film, a dramatic feature titled The Haunting of M, a turn of the century ghost story, shot in Scotland. It was well received by film critics and shown at festivals and art houses.
While at college, she also wrote her first cookbook, The Vegetarian Epicure (Knopf, 1972). The book became a success and is acknowledged as the book that brought pleasure to vegetarian cooking. A few years later she wrote her second book, The Vegetarian Epicure, Book Two (Knopf, 1978). Both books have been translated into several languages, sold in the millions in their various editions, and have remained in print.
In 1973, Thomas worked with fellow film student Gregory Nava on his master's thesis film, a dramatic feature set in the Middle Ages, The Confessions of Amans. It was the beginning of a writing collaboration that has spanned more than two decades.
In 1984, Thomas co-wrote and produced El Norte with Nava directing. The film was a critical success. Thomas and Nava were nominated for an Academy Award and the film collected honors at various film festivals. In 1995, it was elected to the National Film Registry for the Library of Congress.
Thomas produced A Time of Destiny for Columbia Pictures in 1988 and worked for the studio on a few writing jobs.
She returned to the independent film world in 1995 with My Family, a multi-generational Mexican-American family story set in East Los Angeles which Thomas co-wrote and produced.
In 1996, Thomas wrote The New Vegetarian Epicure, a menu-based cookbook with a new collection of recipes. In 2009, "Love Soup" was published, and in 2016, "Vegan Vegetarian Omnivore."
Thomas lives in Ojai, California and Los Angeles, where she continues to write screenplays and other fiction. She also teaches at the American Film Institute as a lecturer.
- The Vegetarian Epicure Alfred A. Knopf, 1972, 305 pages. ISBN 0-394-71784-8.
- The Vegetarian Epicure, Book Two Alfred A. Knopf, 1978, 401 pages. ISBN 0-394-73415-7.
- The New Vegetarian Epicure Alfred A. Knopf, 1996, 450 pages. ISBN 0-679-76588-3.
- Love Soup W. W. Norton, 2009, 528 pages. ISBN 978-0-393-33257-5.
- The Confessions of Amans (1977)
- The Haunting of M (1981), also produced
- The End of August (1982)
- El Norte (1983), also produced
- A Time of Destiny (1988), also produced
- My Family/Mi Familia (1995), also produced
- Frida (2002)
- Academy Awards: Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, for El Norte (1983).
- Writers Guild of America: Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, for El Norte (1983).
- James Beard Foundation Award: Best Healthy Focus Cookbook, for Love Soup (2010).