Jan Ellison: Biography

Jan Ellison

Jan Ellison is an American USA Today bestselling author from Los Angeles, California. Ellison attended Stanford University and later went on to receive an MFA from San Francisco State University.

Ellison is a seasoned traveller, having lived in Hawaii for two years, trekked the Himalayas solo, spent time living in Hong Kong and travelled across India. When she returned from her travels around the world, Ellison got a job doing marketing for a start-up financial services company before leaving to have children and to write full time. Before finishing her first full-length novel, Ellison was already a successful writer. Her extensive travelling had made her a well-respected travel writer. The first of Ellison’s pieces of short fiction was published in 2007 and it was awarded the O. Henry Prize in the same year.

Her debut novel, A Small Indiscretion, became an international bestseller. It was inspired by her own experiences of travelling as a young woman. Ellison decided to take a year out of college to travel through Europe. She studied French in Paris and took a job in an office in London. 2 decades after she returned to Stanford to continue her education, Ellison transformed her notebooks and journals from this year into the novel A Small Indiscretion. It was featured as one of the San Francisco Chronicle’s Best Books of the Year when it was published in 2015.

Jan Ellison now lives with her husband and four children in the San Francisco Bay Area where she continues to write essays and novels.