Lisa Brownell


My writing has always been about making connections. Whether working on a novel or a letter to a friend, I use stories to connect past to present, person to person. Born in the seacoast town of New London, Conn., where Eugene O’Neill found inspiration for many of his plays, I came to understand how family memories can haunt us. My two grandmothers also influenced my writing: one shared her poetry and New England ghost stories; the other her family lore of Syria and Lebanon.

In recent years I’ve written two novels that explore historical and contemporary themes. I’m seeking a new agent and working on a collection of short stories. I graduated from Brown University where I studied writing with poet Michael Harper and playwright George Houston Bass. As an undergraduate, I worked four years in the trade department of the university bookstore, spending most of my paycheck on books. Two years later I earned an M.A. in English (with a concentration in creative writing) from San Francisco State University where I edited a literary magazine and taught a course in editing and publishing. My thesis was a collection of short stories, First Persons. Since then, I’ve made a living as a writer, editor, and publicist for several nonprofits. As director of publications for Connecticut College, I edited an award-winning quarterly magazine with 30,000 readers. I’m married to outdoor writer Steve Fagin and have a grown son, Thomas.