Joanne Strasser was born in 1978. She grew up in the Midwestern United States where she attended a private, all-girls school. She graduated from Brandeis University with a degree in German and Russian languages and literature. After living in Berlin for several years, she moved to New York City to pursue a masters degree in Liberal Studies from The New School for Social Research, and was accepted into their doctoral program for Sociology. Joanne abandoned her doctoral studies to pursue creative writing and has since produced two novels, Occupied and The Year of My Fixation. She currently lives in Columbus, Ohio.