Joan Frank

The Great Far Away: Northern California Book Award Nominee: "A compact, bittersweet tale capturing the essence of carefree youth and lost innocence." -Publishers Weekly

Miss Kansas City: Michigan Literary Fiction Award; Northern California Book Award Nominee: “An assured first novel by an irrepressibly talented writer.” –San Francisco Chronicle


Joan was born to New Yorkers in Phoenix, Arizona. She studied with author Thaisa Frank (no relation) at the University of California in Berkeley, CA, and holds an MFA in creative fiction from Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC.

Joan is a MacDowell Colony- and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Fellow, a Pushcart Prize nominee, and recent winner of the Juniper Prize for Fiction. Past prizes include the ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Award, Richard Sullivan Prize, Dana Award, and notable others. She has received grants from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, and Sonoma Arts Council; been a two-time nominee for the Northern California Book Award in Fiction, and named a San Francisco Library and Berkeley Public Library Literary Laureate. She has taught creative writing at San Francisco State University.

Joan also regularly reviews literary fiction for the San Francisco Chronicle. She lives in Northern California.

Selected Works

"Wisdom deeply honed; beautifully crafted."
— Noelle Oxenhandler
"Writer-blues, writer-opera, writer-jazz."
— David Huddle
"A deeply moving reflection—filled with the stuff of life—nothing less than astonishing."
– Matthew Iribarne
"A stylistic tour de force."
— Bob Wake, Cambridge Book Review
"Perceptive, funny, and wise."
The Boston Globe
"Astute, shrewd and, yes, frank. Surprising and rewarding."
San Francisco Chronicle
"Recalls Carson McCullers."
Trudy Lewis
"Exquisitely beautiful."
Rosa Shand
“What a pleasure to be in the witty, sophisticated world of Joan Frank’s fiction.”
"–Margot Livesey