A black and white photo of Ruth Pennebaker

Ruth Pennebaker

has written adult fiction (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakthrough, 2011), as well as three highly acclaimed young-adult novels, Don't Think TwiceConditions of Love, and Both Sides Now. Her essays and articles have appeared in The New York TimesTexas Monthly, The Dallas Morning NewsParentsRedbookMcCall's,Cooking Light, and other nationwide publications.

Pucker Up! The Subversive Woman’s Guide to Aging with Wit, Wine, Drama, Humor, Perspective, and the Occasional Good CryHer most recent work is a collaboration with artist/cartoonist Marian Henley on Pucker Up! The Subversive Woman’s Guide to Aging with Wit, Wine, Drama, Humor, Perspective, and the Occasional Good Cry – a wise and cheeky guide to living as well as possible as you age. Pucker Up!, which is lavishly and wickedly illustrated, is the kind of book you’d buy for yourself or give your best friend when she turns 50 or 60 or 70. 

Ruth Pennebaker and her mad-scientist husband, both of whom seem to be aging somewhat, live in downtown Austin, hoping this will make them look cool. They are parents of an adult daughter and son.

Ms. Pennebaker's hobbies are reading, yoga, social criticism, and free-form worrying. A card-carrying member of the Chickasaw Nation, she was born in Ponca City, Oklahoma, close to a refinery. She holds a bachelor's degree in comparative literature from Eckerd College and, for reasons that now elude her, a J.D. with honors from the University of Texas School of Law.

Ruth Pennebaker blogs about life, womanhood, dreams, failures, love, kindness, and not taking yourself too seriously in Love, CocoXO, a series of letters to her granddaughter, Ellie.


Ruth Pennebaker has been a speaker or panelist at the following gatherings:

  • Breast Cancer Resource Center Annual Fundraiser, a joint talk with her husband, James W. Pennebaker
  • Texas Book Festival, Austin
  • Texas Library Association, Houston
  • University of Texas at Arlington Women's Studies Friend's Luncheon, speaker: "If the Feminist Revolution is Over, Does That Mean Our Side Won?"
  • Writer's League of Texas, Austin
  • Mid-South Independent Booksellers Association, New Orleans
  • West Texas Book & Author Festival, Abilene, Texas