Alden Jones was born in New York, raised in New Jersey, and holds degrees from Brown University, New York University, and the Bennington Writing Seminars. Her critical memoir, The Wanting Was a Wilderness, was published in August 2020 by Fiction Advocate. It was a Lambda Literary Award finalist. Her first book, The Blind Masseuse: A Traveler’s Memoir from Costa Rica to Cambodia, was named a top ten travel book by National Geographic, Publishers Weekly, and the Huffington Post, won the Independent Publishers Book Award 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’s essays and stories have appeared in New York Magazine, The Cut, The Boston Globe, BOMB, Agni, The Rumpus, Prairie Schooner, Gulf Coast, Post Road, and the Iowa Review, and the Best American Travel Writing. 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. She is the cofounder, with Tim Weed, of the Cuba Writers Program, bringing writers to Cuba for an 8-day program every spring (on hiatus until 2023). For many years she worked as an international educator and has traveled extensively in Latin America, Europe, and Asia. She is the winner of a 2021 fellowship from the Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation for travel to Cambodia and Vietnam to research regional photography; her scholarship as a PhD candidate in Creative Practice at the Transart Institute centers on creative writing practice, cross-cultural studies of empathy and inheritance, visual culture, and feminist sexualities.