Jessica Handler

Jessica Handler is the author of Braving the Fire: A Guide to Writing About Grief. Her first book, Invisible Sisters: A Memoir, was named one of the “Twenty Five Books All Georgians Should Read” and Atlanta magazine’s “Best Memoir of 2009.” Her essays and nonfiction features have appeared on NPR, in Tin House, Drunken Boat, Full Grown People, Brevity, Newsweek, the Washington Post, and More Magazine.

She earned an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte, N.C., and a B.S. in Communication from Emerson College in Boston. Honors include an 2010 Emerging Writer Fellowship from The Writers Center in Bethesda, M.D., the 2009 Peter Taylor Nonfiction Fellowship at the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, and special mention for a 2008 Pushcart Prize. She lives in an old house in Atlanta with her husband and more than one cat.

“I’m the oldest of three sisters, and by the time I was 32, I was the only one living. My sister Susie died of leukemia when she was eight and I was ten. Our sister Sarah died of a rare blood disorder called Kostmann’s Syndrome, effectively the opposite of leukemia, when she was 27 and I was 32. Our father was a Civil Rights attorney in Atlanta in the 1960s, and one of the questions we lived with, all of us, was how to help others, even though we couldn’t help our own.” —Jessica Handler