J.W. Perrin was born and raised in Los Angeles, received a B.A. in English from U.C. Berkeley, and an M.A. in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University, where she studied with novelists Molly Giles and Leo Litwak. Her work has appeared in a collection of her short stories titled Nights (San Francisco State University), and in a number of periodicals, among them Smithsonian, American Photo, Art, The Museum of California, Transfer, and The Californians. She has also published essays in museum exhibition catalogues and in the books Celebrating a Collection: The Work of Dorothea Lange (The Oakland Museum) and Hills of Home: The Ozarks of Arkansas (Ballantine Books).
She has taught literature and writing in the academic program of the San Francisco Ballet School, worked as a writer for U.C. Berkeley’s Regional Oral History Office, and was on the curatorial staff at The Oakland Museum of California, where she was Assistant Curator of a major retrospective exhibition on the work of photographer Dorothea Lange which toured nationally under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institution.
Working for several years as a freelance photo editor, she archived the negative and print collection of architectural photographer Roger Sturtevant, which led to an exhibition sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, was the photo reseacher and writer for an exhibition and catalogue on the history of California’s Diablo Valley, another N.E.A.-sponsored project, and was the photo editor of a California history textbook published by Peregrine-Smith Books and written by historian Kevin Starr.
She has been the recipient of the Herbert Wilner Award for Fiction, was a finalist in the PEN Syndicated Fiction Contest, and her fiction has been read in performance at Santa Barbara’s “Speaking of Stories”. She presently resides near San Francisco.
Current Work: Completing work on a novel titled Croon. Upcoming projects: a novel titled Delta of the River Nile and an untitled short story collection.