Laurie Lisle

writing about the lives of American women, including her own


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

Group Discussion Topics & FAQ

Portrait of an Artist

When did O’Keeffe’s artistic talent become evident?
How were her paintings greeted by critics early in her career?
What role did her husband, Alfred Stieglitz, play in her career?
What was their marriage like?
Why does O’Keeffe’s story appeal to women?
Why did you become interested in writing her biography?
What did you learn about O’Keeffe that most surprised you?

Louise Nevelson

Why did she make sculptures out of old pieces of wood?
Why did she wear false eyelashes and dress so flamboyantly?
Where did she live before arriving in New York?
How did she survive as an artist before she began to sell her work?
When did she become a famous artist?
What was she really like?

Without Child

What does Without Child bring to the issue of childlessness?
What are some of the assumptions about the childfree and what is the reality?
Why is there a stigma against non-parents?
Has childlessness always been unpopular in America?
Why are people childfree, and why don’t you have children?
How strong are marriages without children?
What are the advantages of being childfree? The disadvantages?
Do older non-parents have regrets?

Four Tenths of an Acre

Why did you write this book?
What’s a memoir “written through green glasses”?
How did you learn to garden?
What are the challenges of gardening in New England?
What’s your flower garden like?
What’s the biggest problem you have in your garden?
What’s the relationship between writing and gardening?
Who are other writers who have gardened?


Why are schools for girls important?
Why are there so few same-sex schools?
What’s the advantage of going to a girl’s school?
What was Westover like when you went there?
Who are the most famous alumnae?
What was the most important lesson you learned there?
How has it changed and what’s it like today?