A Brooklyn-based, ASJA award-winning author, journalist, and independent historian, Jessica DuLong collaborates with writers and authors as a book/proposal doctor, editor, and writing coach on narrative works concerning trauma, psychology, and neuroscience; memoir, history, and health; race, equity, and cross-cultural connection; as well as gender, parenting, and justice.
She lectures internationally about narrative craft, book development, and the intersections of trauma and journalism, among other subjects (Fortellingens kraft, Gerard van Westerloolezing, The Power of Narrative, Fullbright Specialist), and has taught writing with Voices From War and The Sackett Street Writers Workshop.
DuLong’s latest book Saved at the Seawall: Stories from the September 11 Boat Lift (previously released as Dust to Deliverance) is the definitive history of the largest maritime evacuation in history—larger even than boat lift at Dunkirk.
This groundbreaking, minute-by-minute chronicle reveals the dramatic story of how tugs, ferries, dinner boats, and other vessels sped to the rescue from points all across New York Harbor—even before the US Coast Guard called for “all available boats.” This spontaneous effort delivered nearly half a million people to safety from Manhattan Island. DuLong’s account highlights how resourcefulness and goodness triumphed over turmoil on one of America’s darkest days.
Her first book, My River Chronicles: Rediscovering the Work that Built America; A Personal and Historical Journey (Free Press), explores the value of hands-on work through memoir, history, and reportage. Lauded in The New York Times as “very fine and gutsy,” My River Chronicles won the 2010 American Society of Journalists and Authors Outstanding Book Award for memoir. Gay Talese called the book “elegantly written,” adding that it “carries forward the craft of literary non-fiction with grace and energy.”
Praised as “a confident and sensual writer” by Dwight Garner of The New York Times, DuLong was also named as “one of the best of the new generation of narrative journalists” by Mark Kramer, founding director of Harvard University’s Nieman Foundation Program on Narrative Journalism.
DuLong’s journalism has been published by CNN.com, Newsweek International, Rolling Stone, Psychology Today, New York History, Huffington Post, Newsday, Parenting, CosmoGIRL!, and Today’s Machining World. Her media appearances include: Spike Lee’s HBO docu-series “NYC Epicenters 9/11→2021½,” TODAY show, CBS Sunday Morning, USA Today, History Channel, C-Span, NY1 “NYT Close Up with Sam Roberts,” WNYC’s “Leonard Lopate,” Martha Stewart Living Radio, The New York Times, and the New Yorker. She also appears as Jessica, who stands “at the controls in the noisy engine room,” in Maira Kalman’s picture book, Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey.
DuLong is also a DONA-certified postpartum doula and a USCG-licensed marine engineer who served aboard retired 1931 NYC fireboat John J. Harvey for two decades, 11 years as chief.