Alden Jones was born in New York, raised in New Jersey, and educated at Brown University, New York University, and the Bennington Writing Seminars. Her critical memoir, The Wanting Was a Wilderness, is forthcoming in late 2019. Her first book, The Blind Masseuse: A Traveler’s Memoir from Costa Rica to Cambodia, was named a Top Ten Travel Book by Publishers Weekly and the Huffington Post, won the Independent Publishers Book Award in Travel Essays and the Foreword Reviews IndieFab Book of the Year in Travel Essays, and was longlisted for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award. Her story collection, Unaccompanied Minors, won the New American Fiction Prize, the Lascaux Book Prize, and an Independent Publisher Book Award in Short Fiction, and was a finalist for the Edmund White Award in Debut Fiction and a Lambda Literary Award.
Alden has lived, worked, and traveled in over forty countries, including as a WorldTeach volunteer in Costa Rica, a program director in Cuba, and a professor on Semester at Sea. She is the cofounder, with Tim Weed, of the Cuba Writers Program, bringing writers to Cuba for an 8-day program every spring. She teaches creative writing and cultural studies at Emerson College in Boston, and is a core faculty member of the Newport MFA program at Salve Regina University.