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 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

Bridges Through Literature

May 1, 2024

In the early years of this century—2004-2007—I was elected the International Secretary of PEN International, a position at the time responsible for overseeing the running of the day-to-day operations of the global organization, along with a small staff. (During my term we hired the first paid executive director.) PEN’s international organization includes four standing committees—the Peace Committee, the Writers in Prison Committee, the Translation and Linguistic Rights Committee and the Women Writers Committee. Because I’d been Chair of the Writers in Prison Committee, which oversees the human rights activities of PEN and takes action in defense of writers in prison and at risk around the world, I understood this committee’s work and mandate. I understood the work and mandate of the Translation and Linguistic Rights Committee to defend minority languages and promote the translation of literature globally. And as one…