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. GALLOWS ROAD will be published in spring of 2022.

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.