Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information


Pen Name: none


Born: December 10, 1956 in Chicago, Illinois


Illinois Connection

Jacquelyn is a native of the west side of Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Jacquelyn Mitchard is a journalist and author. She studied creative writing for three semesters under Mark Costello at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 1979, she became a newspaper reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel eventually becoming its lifestyle columnist. Her weekly column, The Rest of Us: Dispatches from the Mother Ship, appeared in 125 newspapers nationwide.

Mitchard is best known for her first novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, which was the first selection for Oprah's Book Club. All of her other novels have been bestsellers as well. She won critical acclaim for The Most Wanted, Cage of Stars, and The Breakdown Lane. Mitchard has also written for children and young adults. She is an alum and distinguished fellow of the Ragdale Foundation where she began her writing career with the encouragement of Jane Hamilton.

In 2007, The Deep End of the Ocean, was named as one of the ten most influential books of the past 25 years and has been Mitchard's only #1 New York Times Bestseller - for 21 weeks in 1996. It was also made into a major motion picture in 1999 that starred Michelle Pfeiffer and Treat Williams.

Mitchard currently lives Massachusetts.

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