Visit Joan’s Photo Gallery | Joan’s Past Appearances
Ever since I can remember I have been curious—asking questions, trying to figure out life’s meaning—all in an effort to live fully and get it right. My career began as a stringer reporter for the Gannett newspaper chain. As I practiced the craft of writing, I moved on to photo essays books for children, then the breakthrough book, Breaking the TV Habit, and finally into the genre of memoir. The latter happened quite by accident after I ran away from home, lived a year by the sea on my own, and realized that there was something in this experience worth writing about. So many women I knew wanted or needed to stop the craziness of their lives but had not the will or the ability to do so. By writing my story it has given hundreds of thousands of women the excuse to take themselves away, have their turn, and see who they are beyond the roles that they play.
The six books that have come out of my experiences have all been best sellers and many have been printed in foreign languages. My big boost came when Oprah called and invited me on her show—not once, but twice! There have been several appearances on the Today Show, Good Morning America, ten book tours, and numerous articles headlining me as the “woman who got away,” the runaway wife,” or “the woman who took a sabbatical.” Actually, I’m not any one of these descriptions. I am simply a person who wanted to become a scholar of self and soul.
A vocation has come as a result of my search and my books. I conduct weekends by the sea on Cape Cod for women seeking nourishment and weekend retreats in other parts of the country and abroad such as Sonoma, California, Sedona, Arizona, Iona, Scotland, Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, New York, Kripalu, Berkshires, and Whidbey Island, Washington, and Costa Rica. Beyond that, I have the pleasure of speaking on women’s topics for organizations throughout the country (see past appearances).
I guess you could say that I am truly “as unfinished as the shoreline along the beach, meant to transcend myself again and again.” It is my delight to encourage women to know they too are unfinished.