JoeAnn Hart was born in 1956 in the Bronx, New York City. She moved with her family to a suburb of Westchester when she was seven, and studied art after graduating from high school. She subsequently lived in Boulder, Colorado, where she met her husband, and they moved to Massachusetts to raise their children. She took evening classes at Harvard Extension School, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in social sciences. She then took a course in memoir writing, where one of her professors encouraged her to turn her hand to fiction. In 1998 she enrolled for an MFA in Writing and Literature at Bennington College.
Her first short stories and journalistic works were published in various magazines. Not long after graduating, one of her professors submitted her name for the PEN Discovery Award in Fiction, which helped her find an agent. »Addled« (2007), her first novel, is a social satire about a country club invaded by a flock of geese, animal rights, cooking, and people playing games. Hart considers herself an environmentalist and thus frequently focuses on situations where humans and nature intersect. Her next novel »Float« (2013) explores the perils of overfishing the world’s oceans and their pollution with plastics debris. Even before it was published, the first two chapters appeared in »Bear Deluxe Magazine«, and won an award sponsored by the magazine, which encouraged Hart to research the subject further in order to complete the novel. The story centers on Duncan Leland, the owner of »Seacrest’s Ocean Products« in Maine, which has taken a serious financial hit. In a desperate attempt to stave off bankruptcy, he puts all his hope in a new fertilizing agent, with the idea that the profits gained will put him back in the black. Worse yet, not only is Leland about to lose his livelihood, his marriage is also on the rocks. He desperately needs a change of attitude. The situation he faces ultimately challenges him to assume responsibility for his life and for his family. »Litter is not confined to just what we can see. We are, unfortunately, polluting the great and glorious sea as if what we can’t see won’t hurt us. But it does, and eventually it washes up on our beaches, forcing us to confront our careless negligence. JoeAnn Hart’s newest novel, ›Float‹, takes a darkly comedic look at this very serious topic.« (»BookNAround«).
In her short stories and essays, JoeAnn Hart repeatedly touches upon the imminent consequences of global warming and other environmental issues. Hart lives in Gloucester, Massachusetts.