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.

She 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. Joan 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, and in private consultation.

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

Selected Works

"Joan Frank has gifted us with two unforgettable characters in a novel filled to bursting with hard truths and shimmering beauty."
—Bob Wake, Cambridge Book Review

"Joan Frank is a human insight machine."
—Carolyn Cooke

"I will be quoting her ‘rules for aging’ at many dinner parties!"
—Natalie Serber

">"Published by a small press, this wonderful novel about two mismatched middle-aged friends challenging each other to grow deserves big attention."

"Deeply perceptive...Quite wonderful."
"Wisdom deeply honed; beautifully crafted."
— Noelle Oxenhandler

"Writer-blues, writer-opera, writer-jazz." — David Huddle
"Nothing less than astonishing."
– Matthew Iribarne

"A stylistic tour de force."
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