1980 American League Rookie of the Year Joe Charboneau with young fan.Jonathan Miles was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1971, and raised in Arizona. He left home in his teens, infatuated with the blues and intent on a life in music. After a layover back in Cleveland, where he occasionally performed with the late Robert Jr. Lockwood at the Brothers Lounge on Detroit Avenue, he landed in Oxford, Mississippi.

Miles and Larry Brown, circa 1995. Photo by Tom Rankin.After some of Miles’s writing caught the attention of the late Barry Hannah (Airships) and Larry Brown (Joe, Big Bad Love), his infatuation shifted from music to literature, and under Brown’s tutelage Miles began writing fiction. A long apprenticeship followed, during which Miles lived in a 12‘x30’ cabin in the north Mississippi woods while supporting himself as a bartender and landscaper and then later as a newspaper reporter and magazine journalist.

He left Mississippi for New York in 2001, where he went on to serve as a Contributing Editor to publications including Men’s Journal, Details, and Field & Stream and wrote for GQ, Food & Wine, the New York Observer, the New York Times Book Review, and many more. As a journalist, he’s covered everything from U.S. presidential campaigns to factory conditions in Vietnam, from the battles against shark poachers in the Pacific to the theory and practice of barfights in rural U.S. taverns. From 2006 to 2010 he wrote a column, “Shaken and Stirred,” for the New York Times. His work has been featured numerous times in the annual Best American Sports Writing anthology, and has also been featured in Best American Crime Writing.

In 2005, he competed in the Dakar Rally, a 6,000-mile off-road race in Europe and Africa. After losing a wheel, two transmissions, a windshield, several body panels to crashes, much of his belongings to Mauritanian bandits, as well as sixteen nights of sleep, he and his partner finished 65th. Miles returned to the Dakar Rally in 2012, as part of the support crew for his former partner.

At work at a Dakar Rally bivouac, somewhere in Peru, 2012.His first novel, Dear American Airlines, was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2008. Named a New York Times Notable Book and a Best Book of the Year by the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Onion A.V. Club, and others, Dear American Airlines was a finalist for the QPB New Voices Award, the Borders Original Voices Award, and the Great Lakes Book Award, and was translated into half a dozen languages.

Want Not, his second novel, was a New York Times Notable Book and a Kirkus Reviews “Best Books of 2013” selection. It was also named a best book of 2013 by the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune,, and, and was a finalist for the Mississippi Institute of Arts & Letters Award in Fiction.

He also the author of The Wild Chef, a book on wild game and fish cookery. Miles lives with his family alongside the Delaware River in rural New Jersey.