Alena Dillon

Author of

Mercy House


The Happiest Girl in the World

forthcoming April 2021


Mercy House

"A deeply compassionate story of women supporting others in their deepest time of need, working with and against their own hopes, resources, histories, and prejudices, Dillon's debut novel is heartwarming to its core."--Booklist

Mercy House, is about Sister Evelyn, a feisty feminist nun who runs a shelter for abused women in Bed-Stuy. When the Vatican sends a bishop to investigate American religious sisters as part of the Apostolic Visitation, (a real investigation which began in 2009), rightfully convinced they are breaking Catholic doctrine, it is revealed that she was sexually assaulted as a young novice by the very bishop conducting the investigation. She is forced to appeal to her assailant while hiding the forbidden practices of her shelter—including helping women obtain divorce, birth control, and abortions—all to protect the diverse and vibrant individuals under her care.

I Thought We Agreed to Pee in the Ocea

I Thought We Agreed to Pee in the Ocean

From mourning the finale of a beloved television show to attending a pole dancing class intended for professional strippers, this collection captures life’s absurdities. 





an excerpt from Mercy House

Seventh Wave

"Mei Li"

an excerpt from Mercy House

Rkvry Quarterly


Nominated for the Pushcart Prize

Still Point Arts Quarterly

Creative Nonfiction

"Collateral Damage"

Slice Magazine

"Puppy Parenthood"

The Smart Set

"The Nest"

Mothers Always Write

"Cut Down to Size"

The Doctor TJ Eckleburg Review



Alena Dillon is the author of Mercy House, a LibraryReads and Amazon book of February 2020, The Happiest Girl in the World, forthcoming April 2021, and the humor collection I Thought We Agreed to Pee in the Ocean. Alena’s work has appeared in publications including LitHubRiver Teeth, Slice MagazineThe RumpusThe Doctor TJ Eckleburg Review, and Bustle. She teaches creative writing at St. Joseph’s College and lives on the beautiful north shore of Boston with her husband, newborn son, and little black pup named Penny.

Photo by Debasmit Banerjee 2018


Langley-Adams Library

Groveland, MA

VIRTUAL: Register here

Mon. June 29 @ 6:30pm

Salem Lit Fest

Salem, MA

Saturday September 12

Books and Brews

Beverly, MA

Wed. September 23 @ 6:30pm




Alena is represented by Nicki Richesin of Wendy Sherman Associates. Contact Nicki at 

For publicity related inquiries, contact Jes Lyons at

Book Groups: If you are reading my book, I'd love to join by video chat, or drop by if you are in the Boston area!

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