Jeanne Marie Laskas is the author of seven books, including the forthcoming Concussion (Penguin Random House, 2015).  Based on her 2009 GQ article “Game Brain,” Concussion is also soon to be a major motion picture starring Will Smith.  Her other works include Hidden America (Putnam, 2012), as well as the award-winning trilogy of memoirs: Fifty Acres and Poodle (Bantam Dell, 2000), The Exact Same Moon (Bantam Dell, 2003), and Growing Girls (Bantam Dell, 2006).  Most of her longform journalism now appears in GQwhere she is a correspondent writing about everything from concussions to migrant workers to hit-men.  Formerly a contributing editor at Esquireand a weekly columnist (“Significant Others”) at The Washington Post Magazine, she has been writing for national magazines for 20 years, with work appearing in The New York Times MagazineSmithsonian Magazine, O: The Oprah MagazineAllure, Ladies Home Journal, and many others.  Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies, including Best American Magazine Writing 2008 and Best American Sportswriting 2000, 2002200720082011 an2012. She has won more than a dozen Gold Quill awards for Excellence in Journalism, and her piece on coal mining, “Underworld,” was a finalist for the 2007 National Magazine Awards. Her earliest essays and features are compiled in The Balloon Lady and Other People I Know (Duquesne, 1996).  Laskas serves as Director of The Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh, where she teaches creative writing, and she lives on a horse farm in Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.