Hannah Nordhaus is the national bestselling author of The Beekeeper's Lament (HarperCollins, 2011) and American Ghost (HarperCollins, 2015).American Ghost, her latest book, explores the life and legend of Julia Staab, Hannah's great-great-grandmother, who traveled the Santa Fe Trail to New Mexico... show more
Hannah Nordhaus is the national bestselling author of The Beekeeper's Lament (HarperCollins, 2011) and American Ghost (HarperCollins, 2015).American Ghost, her latest book, explores the life and legend of Julia Staab, Hannah's great-great-grandmother, who traveled the Santa Fe Trail to New Mexico in 1866 as a mail-order German-Jewish bride, and whose ghost is reputed to haunt an elegant hotel in Santa Fe. In American Ghost, Hannah examines Julia Staab's life and deconstructs her ghost story, tracing Julia's path from Europe through the American Southwest, rifling through archives and diaries and old newspapers, and meeting with historians, genealogists, aging relatives, and ghost-hunters in order to explore the hazy boundary between history and myth. "Whether you believe in ghosts," said NPR's Fresh Air, "or are just intrigued by their persistence in popular culture, American Ghost is itself a haunting story about the long reach of the past."American Ghost, a national bestseller, has seen critical acclaim from the People Magazine, Elle Magazine, the Boston Globe, Entertainment Weekly, the Denver Post, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and many other newspapers and magazines. It received starred pre-publication reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist and Library Journal, and was named one of "20 Books We'll Read in 2015″ by Entertainment Weekly and one of Elle Magazine's "7 Must-Read Books for March."Hannah's previous bestselling book, The Beekeeper's Lament, is a non-fiction portrait of a fourth-generation beekeeper struggling to keep his bees alive in the middle of a strange and sobering honey bee die-off. Said the Boston Globe: "The Beekeeper's Lament is at once science lesson, sociological study, and breezy read.... A book about bees could easily descend into academe, but the author settles for nothing less than literature."The Beekeeper's Lament was a PEN Center USA Book Awards finalist, a Colorado Book Awards finalist, and a National Federation of Press Women Book Award winner, receiving enthusiastic reviews from the Washington Post, Wall St. Journal, the Associated Press, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Mother Jones, Audubon, Boingboing.net and dozens of newspapers, magazines, and websites, and appearing on a number of year-end "best of" lists. In 2011, the literary magazine The Millions featured this interview with Hannah about the art and craft of writing book-length narrative nonfiction, calling it a "veritable how-to for writing a book of journalistic non-fiction."Hannah's nonfiction writing has appeared in the Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, Outside Magazine, Times Literary Supplement (TLS), Ski Magazine, High Country News, The Village Voice, and many other publications, covering such subjects as litigious prostitutes in Montana; snorkeling salmon-counters in Idaho; wildlife crime investigators in Oregon; and dildo-art thieves and dog-poop mappers in Boulder, Colorado. From 2007 to 2009, she was also outdoors columnist for the Denver Rocky Mountain News.After receiving degrees in history and American Studies from Yale University and the University of Colorado, Hannah bounced from New Mexico to New York to San Francisco to the Himalayas. She finally settled in Boulder, Colorado, where she lives with her husband, two children, zero beehives, and an unspecified number of ghosts.