Helen Thorpe was born in London to Irish parents. She is an award-winning journalist and the author of three books, Just Like Us, Soldier Girls, and The Newcomers. Her books are works of narrative nonfiction that document in a human and intimate way the lives of immigrants, refugees, and veterans of foreign conflicts.
The Newcomers was described by The New York Times as “a delicate and heartbreaking mystery story” about 22 immigrant and refugee teenagers who share one classroom while learning English together. That newspaper went on to say, “Thorpe’s book is a reminder that in an era of nativism, some Americans are still breaking down walls and nurturing newcomers, the seeds of the great American experiment.”
Just Like Us won the Colorado Book Award for narrative nonfiction and was named one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post. The Denver Center for the Performing Arts adapted the nonfiction book for the stage as a play. Soldier Girls was named the number one nonfiction book of the year by Time Magazine. And The Newcomers won both the Colorado Book Award for narrative nonfiction as well as the Columbia Journalism School’s Lukas Prize work-in-progress award.
Thorpe’s magazine journalism has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Texas Monthly, Westword, Chalkbeat, and 5280. She lives in Denver, Colorado.