Angela R. Nissel (born December 5, 1978) is an American author best known for her first book, The Broke Diaries: The Completely True and Hilarious Misadventures of a Good Girl Gone Broke. She is also a writer and co-producer for Scrubs and is working on a television series with Halle Berry, who optioned both of Nissel's books. More recently, she worked as a writer for the fourth season of the The Boondocks series, being credited with writing five and co-writing two out of 10 episodes.
Nissel was born and raised in Philadelphia. She attended the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts, where she majored in Creative Writing, and she graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1998 with a degree in medical anthropology.
Her first book The Broke Diaries was published in 2001 and was promoted in non-traditional ways. In one case, her friend applied "Buy The Broke Diaries!" stickers to ramen noodle packages and passed them out near bookstores. Nissel also promoted the book in her signature when she posted on Internet forums. She was on Oprah and was featured with her mother on 20/20, which also featured her second book, Mixed: My Life in Black and White, a comedic look at growing up as the child of a biracial couple.
On October 28, 2006, Nissel made her debut as a panelist on NPR's Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!. In 1999, she founded the music-related website Okayplayer with The Roots' drummer Ahmir Thompson.The Broke Diaries: The Completely True and Hilarious Misadventures of a Good Girl Gone Broke. Villard. 2001. ISBN 978-0-679-78357-2.
Mixed: My Life in Black and White. Villard. 2006. ISBN 978-0-345-48114-6.
USA Today praised the book as being "the New Economy's version of Down and Out in Paris and London, George Orwell's 1933 book about the urban poor."
Mademoiselle, April 2001 - "...the deft way Nissel transforms the ordeals of poverty into funny, reassuring anecdotes makes it an almost enviable condition."
Kirkus Reviews named the book one of the 10 best non-fiction books of 2006, saying: "Readers will be grateful that she's willing to revisit her challenging past: Colorful anecdotes, marvelous dialogue and a thoughtful narrative make this memoir a delight."
Entertainment Weekly said the book is "As poignant as it is painfully funny."
Booklist says: "Nissel is humorous, poignant, and proud yet also empathetic and generous as she recounts her constant struggle to answer the perennial question persons of mixed race seem required to ask of themselves in our society—where do I fit in?.... All readers stand to learn from her account."
Publishers Weekly wrote: "Illuminating … Nissel's writing is very funny and very sharp."
Halle Berry says, "Mixed is a hilarious must-read for anyone searching for the enchanting path to self-discovery. Angela Nissel's precise account of living the mixed race experience not only hit home with me, but the journey is deliciously enlightening and heart-rending at the same time. It's a journey well worth taking."