Burning Distance is a double helix of a book, carefully plotted and beautifully told. It’s a spy story interwoven with a love story, and the strands fit together in a way that moves the reader effortlessly from chapter to chapter . . . A subtle and satisfying novel.”

—David Ignatius, journalist and best-selling author

The Far Side of the Desert is that rare story-a literary work and a first-rate thriller.”

—Jennifer Clement, former PEN International President and award-winning novelist


The Far Side of the Desert is a riveting thriller with richly nuanced characters and fast-paced action.”

—Robin Wright, award-winning journalist and author

Burning Distance is a double helix of a book, carefully plotted and beautifully told. It’s a spy story interwoven with a love story, and the strands fit together in a way that moves the reader effortlessly from chapter to chapter . . . A subtle and satisfying novel.”

—David Ignatius, journalist and best-selling author

The Far Side of the Desert is that rare story-a literary work and a first-rate thriller.”

—Jennifer Clement, former PEN International President and award-winning novelist

The Far Side of the Desert is a riveting thriller with richly nuanced characters and fast-paced action.”

—Robin Wright, award-winning journalist and author

About Joanne

Joanne Leedom-Ackerman is a novelist, short story writer, and journalist. Her fiction includes The Far Side of the Desert, Burning Distance, regional bestseller The Dark Path to the River and No Marble Angels. A former reporter for The Christian Science Monitor, Joanne has won awards for her nonfiction and published fiction, articles and essays in newspapers, magazines, and books.

Additional Fiction by Joanne

"Well-written, thematically rich. I fell in love with the characters. I didn’t want the pleasure to end."

—Barbara Kingsolver, Poisonwood Bible

"...the writer’s strengths—honesty, compassion and the ability to present such memorable scenes."

—Jill McCorkle, The New York Times Book Review

Praise for Joanne's Non-fiction

"PEN Journeys tells the story of the important organization PEN from the ground and through insightful eyes…and with narrative flair."

—Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran

"This invaluable book shows the range and depth of Liu Xiaobo's interests, concerns, and thoughts. It helps us know this remarkable man intimately."

—Ha Jin, author of Waiting, winner of the National Book Award

Latest Blog Post

Eyes On Pluto

July 1, 2024

With fraught political climates on the ground in many countries—at least 64 countries face elections this year with democracies in the balance—and with discourse often less than inspiring, I find myself looking up and into the clouds and the sky above for an uncluttered view. That instinct was further encouraged by a book I recently read and note in the Books to Check Out section of this Substack—David Ignatius’ Phantom Orbit. Even before reading this novel, I was recalling a major event in July nine years ago when the New Horizons spacecraft built by Johns Hopkins University’s Advanced Physics Lab gathered data and reported back from Pluto. As a Hopkins trustee, I was privileged to watch the encounter along with others at the Advanced Physics Lab when the spacecraft reported from its Pluto orbit. “We’re in lock with telemetry with…