Discipline: Literature – nonfiction

Jessica Bruder

Discipline: Literature – nonfiction
Region: Brooklyn, NY
MacDowell Fellowships: 2019, 2023

Jessica Bruder is a journalist who writes about social issues and subcultures. Her articles have been on the covers of The Atlantic, Harper’s, WIRED, and Audubon magazines and in the pages of many other publications. She’s been teaching narrative writing at Columbia Journalism School since 2008. She was a 2023 fellow at The New York Public Library’s Cullman Center.

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 a place for themselves in a precarious economy. 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. Nomadland was adapted for a film of the same name featuring Frances McDormand and David Strathairn, distributed by Fox Searchlight. The film won three Oscars. Bruder is also the author of Burning Book

During her first MacDowell residency in 2019, Bruder worked on two projects: a WIRED feature about Somali refugees fighting for religious tolerance and better working conditions in Amazon's Minneapolis warehouses, and Snowden's Box, a book about trust in the age of surveillance based on her experience as the unwitting mule for the entirety of Edward Snowden's NSA archive.

At MacDowell in 2023, she worked on her fourth book worked on her book about mutual aid and access to abortion in post-Roe America tentatively titled The Providers: Dispatches From the Abortion Underground which is forthcoming from W.W. Norton & Co.



Jessica Bruder worked in the Chapman studio.

Chapman Studio was funded by Mrs. Alice Woodrough Chapman in memory of her husband, composer George Alexander Chapman. Symmetrically massed, the building is stuccoed on the exterior with a natural, unpainted cement. Its unusual half-timbered ornament consists of slender, knotty spruce poles painted a dark green color. A central, peak-roofed entrance porch appears on the north side…

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