Laurie Lisle

writing about the lives of American women, including her own

Books

Biography
The best selling biography of one of America's most admired and accomplished painters
The first biography of this extraordinary and enigmatic American sculptor
Sociology
A book that offers people without children the life-affirming story of themselves
Memoir
A modern pastoral about transforming a bare backyard into a mature garden
Education
The vivid story of a wonderful way to educate teenage girls from America and around the world

About

I always wanted to be a writer.

First it was reading. I adored looking at picture books, even before I could walk or talk. The children's room in the neighborhood library in my home town of Providence, Rhode Island, was a wondrous place for me. When I learned to read the wiggly black marks in colorful picture books, it was a revelation. I began to read all the time--especially children's biographies of girls who became famous.

I began writing as a schoolgirl, almost always about what had really happened rather than what I imagined happening. In high school I began keeping a writer's notebook in a creative writing class. It led in college to beginning a personal journal, which has continued more or less until now, when it has again become mostly a writer's notebook.

My first job after college was working for The Providence Journal, where I got my first professional bylines for writing feature stories. After moving to New York City, I worked for Newsweek magazine before writing my first book, a biography of the iconic American painter, Georgia O'Keeffe.

After buying a house in a village in New England, and writing another biography, this time about sculptor Louise Nevelson, I began to write books drawing on my own experiences--like passing up motherhood, passionately tending a flower garden, and going to a traditional girls' boarding school in Connecticut.

Now, drawing extensively on my many journals, I am working on a memoir about wanting to be a writer, becoming a writer, and being a writer. It has been an extraordinary inner journey--full of memories, discoveries, and insights--which has enriched my understanding of the past and the present.

Besides writing nonfiction books, I teach, lecture, and publish essays, book reviews, and articles in newspapers, literary journals, magazines, and anthologies, such as Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction, The Journal of the Southwest, and From the Faraway Nearby: Georgia O'Keeffe as Icon.

I live with my husband, painter and print maker Robert Kipniss, in Westchester County in the suburbs of New York City, and in Litchfield County in the hills of northwestern Connecticut.


Laurie Lisle with her husband artist Robert Kipniss