About Joan

Joan Niesen is a longtime journalist and longer-time reader. In kindergarten, she wrote her first series of stories, an in-depth look at the lives of her American Girl dolls, and she hasn’t stopped writing or reading since. After years in journalism (at Sports Illustrated, FoxSports.com and The Denver Post) she’s working on her first book ā€” about her great-grandmother’s extraordinary life, rural Missouri and the elusive lure of social mobility ā€” and sharing other musings about reading and writing here.

A native of St. Louis, Joan now lives in Chicago, though she’s often on the go. She has a nine-year-old cat, Eloise, and enjoys Pilates, baking and design when her nose isn’t stuck in a book. Speaking of, here are a few of her favorite titles: To Kill a Mockingbird, Number the Stars, The Virgin Suicides, Hillbilly Elegy, Educated, All the Light We Cannot See, the entire Harry Potter seres, The Golden Compass, The Breaks of the Game, Normal People, My Year of Rest and Relaxation.