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"...one of the best books on writing and the writing life I have ever read."

—Joel Agee, author of The Stone World


"...a place of wisdom and sanity."

—Phillip Lopate, author of To Show and to Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction


"...a wise and moving book."

—Debra Monroe, author of My Unsentimental Education


"...an essential guide for serious writers and readers of all ages."

—Yang Huang, author of My Good Son: A Novel


"...a rich, real collection."

—Carol Sklenicka, author of Alice Adams: Portrait of a Writer



"I could not stop reading this beautiful story."
–Martha Bergland, author of A Farm Under a Lake


"Part gem, part amulet, all magic."
–Jacob M. Appel, author of Einstein's Beach House


"This extraordinary novel is meant for all of us."
–Lee Upton, author of Visitations: Stories


..."[S]he shows us the joys of the lost world, as well as its terrors—and for the reader, the great provocation to remember one's own past. A beautiful novel." 

–Lewis Buzbee, author of The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop

The Outlook for Earthlings

"Line by line, The Outlook for Earthlings continually stunned me with its grace..." 

— Julie Buntin, author of Marlena


"I'm completely in love with The Outlook for Earthlings. It's affected me so powerfully that I haven't wanted to talk to anyone, or do anything but sit and reflect, and re-read passages here and there. Truly a beautiful, life-altering work of fiction."

— Christina "Kit" Ward


"An exquisite [chronicle] of the cracked and confused...human heart."

— Peter Orner, author of Maggie Brown & Others


"Gorgeous, limpid prose exploring vast and nuanced constellations of human love."

— Elizabeth Rosner, author of Survivor Cafe


"With technicolor details, intense reflections, and devastating acuity about women's compromises in love, The Outlook for Earthlings is an elegant elegy."




"...Four sparkling novellas...[showcase] the wonder of life. Frank's subjects include fascinating friendships and complicated marriages, awful parties and odd enthusiasms. Bonus: song mentions that add up to a terrifically eclectic playlist." — PEOPLE MAGAZINE


"Frank's characters, no matter their documented flaws or shortcomings, are often mesmerized and transported by music and art...circuitously winding their way toward wisdom and insight. [These] novellas crystalize the passage of time in profound ways."  — Bob Wake, CAMBRIDGE REVIEW


"Four lustrous, moving, and life-affirming novellas—the heartaching, worth-the-pain-of-living beauty of the world...a holy undertone...is a channel to grasp meaning. Frank's wisdom has lessons for us all." — BOOKLIST


"[T]aken as a whole, Where You're All Going becomes an expansive book that reads similarly to Joan Silber's Ideas of Heaven. In each of the novellas, Frank shows the intimate ways people are connected while exploring the distance that exists between them."


"Every paragraph begs to be read aloud, to be heard. The stories are, line after line, brimming with a brisk freshness." — Aimee Bender


"A marvel." — Ann Packer


"I loved every moment." — Christine Sneed


"Each of these novellas is as satisfying as a whole book, but...together, they tell a much bigger story...Full beauty and bounty." — Ramona Ausubel





"[C]ranky and wise, worldly and cultivated, humorous and rueful, its every sentence sparkles. All in all, it is thoroughly entertaining, a sophisticated pleasure." — Phillip Lopate


"[Frank's] smart, surprising, irreverent travel essays will give you wanderlust." — PEOPLE MAGAZINE


"Frank affirms that [travel] provides the most passionate, permanent, and life-changing education available. Along with revealing the workings of a curious writer's mind, the book highlights the deeper questions: "Where should we be? Why?" Whether sparkling or curmudgeonly...Try to Get Lost records the ups and downs of travel with wit, insight, and unfailing honesty." — FOREWORD REVIEWS


"For all its attentiveness to beauty and loss, this wise and humorous collection is also a moving record of anticipation and expectation. Each place, taken on its own terms, yields up its own flavors and character, but everyone is bound by one eloquent fact: 'time is the vastest real estate we know.' Philosophical, sophisticated literary forays that are a pleasure to dwell in." — KIRKUS REVIEWS


"This collection of 16 scintillating essays on travels map[s] psychological interiors as much as [it does] geographic landscapes...Frank's rich, imagery-driven prose lends immediacy to her observations. This is a perfect book for readers to take on their travels, even if they're only going as far as the armchair." — PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY

""A kind of drama, in its focus and intelligence. Every single essay has entire paragraphs that resonate equally as language in the mouth and ideas in the mind — amazing writing; a combination of autobiography and deep exploration of personal meaning. A brilliant book." — Scott Wheeler, Composer

"The verisimilitude is breathtaking...Frank's own story is threaded throughout... Try to Get Lost is superb travel literature. It might also be one of the best memoirs you'll read this year." — Bob Wake, CAMBRIDGE REVIEW



A story of love and sex and friendship, of art and travel—and of those small changes, within our reach, that may help us save ourselves—somewhere toward the end.

"This wholly original novel asks and answers the most urgent of all questions: how are we to live? In precise, pointillist prose, Joan Frank humbly delivers an unforgettable and unconventional love story with characters who both define and defy the rules of aging. Beneath the surface of these deceptively quiet pages lies a barely containable exuberance, a life-force I found moving and inspiring." — Christopher Castellani

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

"Deeply perceptive...Quite wonderful...speak[s] volumes about our need for companionship, the resilience of the human spirit, and our connection to time and place...one of those rare reads you'll read and pick up again a decade later, this time with a new perspective." — THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE


A knowledgeable and trustworthy guide: funny, personal, and practical. Beautifully, gracefully told, in marvelous detail and with great, sensible counsel. The anecdotes are delightful; marvelously readable. Frank’s personal journey is wonderfully told, so that what in these essays is particular becomes useful and universal." — Jay Neugeboren

"An honest and wise and brave account. I recommend to you this rare thing, a book packed full of useful information that is also a work of art.” — John McNally


"First-class fiction." — Kirkus Reviews

"A beautifully written love story." — Elizabeth Benedict

"The mix of personalities is perfect." — Publisher's Weekly

"Brilliant, moving, and original." — Jeffrey Levine

"A genuine wonder of a book—filled with the stuff of life—nothing less than astonishing." — Matthew Iribarne


Winner of the Richard Sullivan Prize and ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Award; finalist for the California Book Award:

"Meticulously observed, with sentences that will make you stop and go back for another look.” — Ehud Havazelet

"A wonderful, intimate feel, as though the narrator is whispering in our ear at the start of each one, ‘You won’t believe what I heard.’ - Elizabeth Strout

"Subtlety, intelligence, and sly wit.” — Brian Morton

"Unusual wit, sophistication and psychological insight; reading these pages is a pleasure.” - Margot Livesey

"The uneasy balance of power between male and female binds this sharp collection... Frank works every aspect of these stories with relentless energy, and readers will be sure to pay attention." - Publishers Weekly

"[B]itingly ironic, provocative scenes of contemporary life, so complete that they will satisfy readers who typically grab 400-page novels...The art of these stories is in their telling...Frank hits precisely the right note. Funny...perceptive...wise." - The Boston Globe:


Northern California Book Award in Fiction Nominee. "An exquisitely beautiful--and honest and sad--elegy for a generation ... may well become the accepted memorial to a peculiarly American experiment, yet rises to mirror all our lives."
- Rosa Shand

"Engaging and generous ... lyrical and passionate." - Chuck Wachtel

"A compact, bittersweet tale capturing the essence of carefree youth and lost innocence." - Publishers Weekly

"Compassionate and tough wisdom ... brilliantly portrays what disintegrates and what endures." - Kevin McIlvoy


"Marvelously satisfying.” – Laura Kasischke

“Heartbreaking and redeeming.” – Eileen Pollack


“Wonderfully constructed, Joan Frank’s stories are deeply moving and written with great grace and wit.” – Stephen Dobyns

“Witty, light, philosophical and meditative by turns. Frank investigates a serious set of problems, and keeps pressing on them until they open up to the universal.” – Trudy Lewis

"Thoroughly delightful and satisfying.” – Margot Livesey