Linda Dahl is the author of a trilogy of novels: Gringa in a Strange Land (2010), Cleans Up Nicely (2013), and The Bad Dream Notebook (2017). She is also the author of a short story collection, Come Back, Carmen Miranda (2002), three books about women’s contributions to jazz: Stormy Weather (1984), Morning Glory (1999), and Haunted Heart (2006), and Loving Our Addicted Daughters Back to Life: a guidebook for parents (2015).
After graduating with high honors with a degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Linda became a freelance journalist in Mexico and Brazil. Her articles about off-beat events, characters and the arts have appeared in Smithsonian, Travel and Leisure, Americas, Connoisseur, and M.D. magazines. Moving to New York in the late ‘70s, she worked as a translator while writing for Jazz magazine and writing her first book. Since the late ‘80s, she’s lived in the Hudson Valley with her family, along with many dogs and cats and a rambunctious garden.
Consistently garnering praise for her wide-ranging books, Linda’s biography of the great African-American musician Mary Lou Williams was chosen by the New York Times Book Review as one of the 100 best books of 2000. Library Journal deemed Loving Our Addicted Daughters as “an essential addition to the literature,” while Publishers Weekly called it “a compassionate and invaluable guide” and called Stormy Weather “a brilliant work of oral history.” Among many other accolades, her novel Gringa in a Strange Land was chosen as the best work of fiction by the editors’ collective Writers in the Sky in 2010, and Cleans Up Nicely won praise as “fast-moving, funny and heart-rending” by New York Times Book Review editor Randolph Hogan.
Linda has appeared on dozens of radio and television programs, including The Leonard Lopate show on NPR and in Scandinavia, Germany, France and the BBC in the United Kingdom, as well as giving book talks across the country. Proud and grateful to be in long-time recovery from addiction, she is a member of a number of organizations working to stop the shame and improve the odds for the millions of Americans suffering from the chronic brain disease of addiction to alcohol and other drugs. She has written a number of pieces about aspects of addiction for parents of daughters on her blog and for online publications.
In her private life, Linda can often be found futilely weeding her garden, reading her current obsession, Scandinavian crime thrillers, going to concerts and plays, walking her dog Paco or, best of all, just hanging out with her kids and friends.