Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1932 Joanne Greenberg graduated from American University, Washington, D.C., with majors in anthropology and English literature. She also studied at the University of London and the University of Colorado.
In 1955, she married Albert Greenberg, and they had two sons. Albert encouraged her to write her first book, THE KING’S PERSONS, an account of the York Massacre. This has been followed by twenty one novels and four collections of short stories. She has also been featured in numerous anthologies.
Albert was the first vocational rehabilitation counselor in Colorado for the Deaf. Joanne became interested in communicating with the Deaf, studied American Sign Language, and since then has assisted in the setting up of mental health programs for the Deaf in various places throughout the country. This interest also led to her novel IN THIS SIGN, which was dramatized on television by Hallmark in 1985, titled LOVE IS NEVER SILENT.
Joanne lives in a mountain home near Lookout Mountain, Colorado. Sadly Albert Greenberg passed in the autumn of 2022. Ms. Greenberg writes daily and tutors in Latin and Hebrew. She is active in the Congregation Beth Evergreen, conducting Bar Mitzvah preparation. During her career, she conducted classes for U.S. Military personnel stationed in Asia and did speaking engagements all over the country. In addition, she was featured in the Daniel Mackler film TAKE THESE BROKEN WINGS . She taught many Colorado School of Mines students both cultural anthropology and writing fiction.
Awards, Honors, and Accolades
Harry and Ethel Daroff Memorial Award for Fiction 1963
William and Janice Eppstein Fiction Award 1964
Christopher Award 1971
Gallaudet University Kenner Award 1971 (The first hearing recipient)
Doctor of Letters Western Maryland College 1977
Doctor of Humane Letters Gallaudet College 1979
Rocky Mountain Women’s Institute Award 1983
Doctor of Humane Letters University of Colorado 1987
Denver Public Library Bookplate Award 1990
Colorado Author of the Year 1991
Colorado School of Mines Distinguished Lecturer 1996
Colorado School of Mines Medal 1999
Hadassah Women in the Arts Award 2008
“A miracle of empathy, a tour de force of imaginative conjecture … Writers were invented to produce books like this.”
– Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times on In This Sign
“Excellent … not only artistically ‘beautiful’ but morally and spiritually beautiful as well.”
– Joyce Carol Oates, Chicago Tribune on Rites of Passage
“Greenberg writes as brilliantly and familiarly of her adopted Colorado as Willa Cather did of her childhood in Nebraska.”
– Washington Star on Founder’s Praise
“Thought-provoking and heartwarming … compellingly believable characterizations as well as a vibrant evocation of an ordinary life touched by pain and joy, love and sharing, commitment and hope.”
– Booklist on A Season of Delight
“Greenberg hits her full storytelling stride. Stimulating and involving.”
– Kirkus Reviews on Where The Road Goes