Jessica Goudeau is a journalist, professor, producer, and advocate. Her first nonfiction book, After the Last Border: Two Families and the Story of Refuge in America, won the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize and a Christopher Award, was named a New York Times Editors’ Choice book, World Magazine’s “Understanding the World” Book of the Year, a Library Journal “Best Social Science Book of the Year,” and one of Chicago Public Library’s “Best Books of 2020.” It was a finalist for the Writer’s League of Texas Nonfiction Book Award, a finalist for the BookTube Prize, shortlisted for the Chautauqua Prize, and longlisted for the Reading the West Narrative Nonfiction Award.
She has been an as-told-to columnist about displaced people and those living in war zones for Catapult, and has written for The New York Times, The Atlantic, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times, among other places. She is currently working on her next nonfiction book for Viking called We Were Illegal. She produced a mini-documentary series called “Ask a Syrian Girl” for Teen Vogue, and “A Line Birds Cannot See,” a short documentary distributed by The New Yorker.
She co-founded a nonprofit for Burmese refugee artisans in Austin that successfully ended after seven years when the last artisan found full-time employment. She has a PhD in US and South American literature from the University of Texas and speaks fluent Portuguese and Spanish. She served as a Mellon Writing Fellow and Interim Writing Center Director at Southwestern University, was a Visiting Professor at Sewanee School of Letters, and currently teaches Creative Nonfiction at Wilkes University.