Jessica Bruder is a journalist and New America fellow who writes about subcultures and social issues.
For her book Nomadland, she spent months living in a camper van, documenting itinerant Americans who gave up traditional housing and hit the road full time, enabling them to travel from job to job and carve out a place for themselves in a precarious economy. The project spanned three years and more than 15,000 miles of driving — from coast to coast and from Mexico to the Canadian border. Named a New York Times Notable Book and Editors’ Choice, Nomadland won the 2017 Discover Award and was a finalist for the J. Anthony Lukas Prize and the Helen Bernstein Book Award.
Jessica has been teaching narrative storytelling at Columbia Journalism School and contributing to The New York Times for more than a decade. She has also written for New York Magazine, WIRED, Harper's Magazine, The Washington Post, The Associated Press, The International Herald Tribune, The New York Times Magazine and The Guardian. She was a staff reporter at The Oregonian. Her photography appears in Nomadland and Burning Book and has been published by The New York Times, The New York Observer and Blender magazine.
Jessica has a B.A. in English and French from Amherst College and an M.S. in magazine writing from Columbia Journalism School. She’s grateful for fellowships at the Bellagio Center and Yaddo that have supported her work.
Going back further, she was a Starbucks barista, a snowboarder, an electric guitar nerd, a music store clerk, a junior camp counselor and a really lousy waitress. She is, eternally, a proud and patch-wearing member of the Madagascar Institute and the Flaming Lotus Girls.
She lives in Brooklyn with a dog named Max and more plants than you can shake a leafy stick at.