By her own admission, Victoria Noe is on her fourth career. She moved to Chicago in 1977 to work in the vibrant off-Loop theatre community as a stage manager, director, administrator and founding board member of the League of Chicago Theatres. In the late ‘80s she switched to fundraising in the AIDS and arts communities, followed by fifteen years as an award-winning educational sales rep. But when a concussion ended her sales career, she decided it was time to keep a promise to a dying friend: write a book about people grieving their friends. It became the award-winning Friend Grief series.
That series brought her back to the HIV/AIDS community after a long absence and led to Fag Hags, Divas and Moms: The Legacy of Straight Women in the AIDS Community, the first book in the chronicles of the AIDS epidemic to focus solely on women and their contributions. It was released in March, 2019 to wide acclaim. Midwest Book Review called it “An extraordinary compendium of information and illustrative personal stories.” Kirkus noted that “Noe’s book celebrates one sector of a compassionate network of caregivers with empathy, appreciation, solidarity and immense pride.” It has been honored with a B.R.A.G. Medallion for excellence in indie publishing, and was a finalist for A&U Magazine’s 2019 Literature of the Year Award.
Noe has spoken before such diverse groups as Open Hand San Francisco, Chicago Writers Association, The Muse and the Marketplace, Mt. Sinai Hospital, Book Expo America, and public libraries throughout northern Illinois. Her articles have appeared on a variety of grief and writing blogs as well as Broadway World, Windy City Times, Chicago Tribune and Huffington Post. Her essay, “Long Term Survivor” won the 2015 Christopher Hewitt Award for Creative Nonfiction.
She is a member of Alliance of Independent Authors, Authors Guild, Chicago Writers Association, Chicago AIDS Garden steering committee and ACT UP/NY. A native St. Louisan, Noe remains a lifelong Cardinals fan who dreams of a repeat of the 1964 World Series. Her website is victorianoe.com.
Awards and Recognition
- Finalist, Literature of the Year, A&U Magazine, 2020 B.R.A.G. Medallion - 2019 Christopher Hewitt Award, Creative Nonfiction, A&U Magazine - 2015 Honorable Mention, Book of the Year, Chicago Writers Association - 2015