Rachel Howard is a writer of fiction, personal essays, memoir, and dance criticism. Her debut novel, The Risk of Us, will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt April 2019, and is garnering strong advance praise:

I’ve never read anything so beautiful about the intricacies of adoption—the process itself, and the seldom-talked-about aftermath. The prose is elegant and compressed; I often had to stop reading to catch my breath. Anyone who has ever loved a child, in any capacity, should read this book.

— Jamie Quatro, author of I Want to Show You More and Fire Sermon 

Rachel Howard has given us a portrait of family-building and attachment that is at once beautiful and painful, serious and funny, page-turning and insightful. I was deeply moved by this novel, a powerful reminder of the risks we take on whenever we love anyone.

–Belle Boggs, author of The Art of Waiting

Rachel Howard’s The Risk of Us (so accurately titled) is a novel of deep pain yet also laughs – lots of them. Nothing is easy in this book, and that’s as it should be. With risk comes a kind of awesome grace. A wonderfully written and candid examination of what it means to be a family.

–Peter Orner, author of Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge and Love and Shame and Love

This book reads like a thriller. A beautiful story about connection and love despite and beyond trauma.

–Julia Scheeres, author of Jesus Land and A Thousand Lives


Photo by Emmet Cullen.

Rachel’s first book was a memoir, The Lost Night. She was interviewed about the book by Ira Glass for an episode of This American Life; you can listen to that interview here. She is a graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and a fellow of the MacDowell Colony. Her fiction and nonfiction has appeared in Gulf Coast, ZYZZYVA, Waxwing (nominated for a Pushcart Prize), O Magazine, OZY, Canteen, Berfrois, the Arroyo Literary Reviewand elsewhere, and is forthcoming in the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Formerly an arts journalist, her arts and dance writing has appeared in The New Yorker Online, the New York Times, Ballet Review, and the Hudson Review, among other publications.

She lives in Nevada City, CA, where she founded Yuba Writers’ Workshops, and a reading series, Yuba Lit, now a fiscally sponsored project of the Nevada County Arts Council.

Literary representation:

Rob McQuilkin

Massie & McQuilkin Literary Agents