Chloé Cooper Jones Professor, Journalist, Pulitzer Prize Finalist, and Disability Advocate

About the Author

Chloé Cooper Jones is a professor, journalist, and the author of the memoir Easy Beauty, a Pulitzer Prize finalist which was named a Best Book of 2022 by The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Time, and others. She is also a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in Feature Writing for her article, “Fearing for His Life,” profiling Ramsey Orta, the man who filmed the killing of Eric Garner.

In her award-winning memoir Easy Beauty, Jones recounts her experience with sacral agenesis, a rare spinal disability that alters her physical mobility. The story opens in a bar, where Jones watches two friends debate whether someone with her disability should have the right to exist. After this jarring scene, Jones embarks on a journey across the globe, from sculpture gardens in Rome to film festivals in Utah to the Killing Fields of Phnom Penh, offering a collection of memories and anecdotes that showcase how she eventually embraces the beauty of her own body and reclaims the spaces she’d been denied, and denied herself.

Her memoir gives a platform to Disability Aesthetics—the idea that difference, asymmetry, and distortion does not negate beauty. Instead, bodily differences showcase a diversity of beauty beyond social constructions. She challenges social taboos and urges non-disabled people to avoid invoking pity when interacting with individuals who have been disabled their entire lives. They are not a source of inspiration for simply existing in the bodies they were born into. These themes make Jones’ memoir not only a story, but a message for change.

She received the 2020 Whiting Creative Nonfiction Grant and the 2021 Howard Foundation Grant from Brown University. Jones is currently an Associate Professor of Writing at Columbia University and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Suggested Topics

  • Easy Beauty
  • Disability Activism
  • Disability Aesthetics
  • Body Positivity
  • Mental Health



Raves and Reviews

A rich, decadent book that rewards close reading… anyone who immerses themselves in Chloé’s writing will come away with a greater understanding of everything beautiful about the human experience, and how to behold it.”
—Isaac Fitzgerald, The Today Show

Easy Beauty is bold, honest, and superbly well-written. Chloé Cooper Jones is ruthless in probing our weakest and darkest areas, and does so with grace, humor, and ultimately, with something one seldom finds: kindness and humanity.”
—André Aciman, author of Call Me By Your Name

Part travelogue and part treatise… Philosophy, art, gender, sex, travel, motherhood, academia, humor—this book has it all.”
New York Public Library

Jones resists sentimentality and is as unsparing on herself as she is on other people, yet she writes with such graciousness, too. A wonderful debut.”

Transcendent… In keeping the reader close as she navigates the world, Jones lets us in on the effort it takes to move through the world in a disabled body… This is all rendered in sentences, insights, and metaphors so precise and evocative that demonstrate her literary mastery.”
Oprah Daily

A spiky and inspiring book for any reader at odds with a superficial culture.”
Los Angeles Times

Soul-stretching, breathtaking… A profound, impressive, and wiser-than-wise contemplation of the way Jones is viewed by others, her own collusion in those views, and whether any of this can be shifted… A game-changing gift to readers.”
Booklist (starred review)

[In her] dazzling debut…Chloé Cooper Jones challenges society’s rules of attraction with razor-sharp wit and intellect….[and] makes a brilliant case for the beauty of complexity.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Perceptive, stylish, and darkly funny, Easy Beauty is an act of grace, and a reckoning. Chloé Cooper Jones is a remarkable writer—I would follow her mind anywhere.”
—Anna Wiener, author of Uncanny Valley

I recommend Easy Beauty to anyone who has wanted beauty badly, even without knowing quite what it is, but who could never seem to access it. At least, I’m that sort of anyone, and I could feel and recognize parts of myself in every moment of this book. Chloé Cooper Jones’ writing pierces right through and lets a light in.”

Chloé Cooper Jones is a writer whose work I don’t read, but enter: she weaves her brainy, crackling interior into the sinews of a reality that is forever reminding its participants of the difficulty of living inside a body. Easy Beauty is the most humane book I have read in a long time: in her insistence that we bear witness to each other, Jones calls forth a better, and indeed more beautiful world. I loved this book.”
—Kristen Radtke, author of Seek You: A Journey Through American Loneliness

[An] exquisite memoir. Here Pulitzer finalist Jones reflects on our standards of beauty from the perspective of a disabled woman whose rare congenital condition affects her stature and gait, and leaves her in constant pain. But it’s ultimately motherhood that liberates her, and prompts her to reexamine the limitations she has accepted as givens.”
—O Magazine

In the Media


Books by Chloé Cooper Jones

Easy Beauty

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