LISA ALTHER was born in 1944 in Kingsport, Tennessee, where she went to public schools. She was graduated from Wellesley College with a BA in English literature in 1966. After attending the Publishing Procedures Course at Radcliffe College and working for Atheneum Publishers in New York, she moved to Hinesburg, Vermont, where she has lived for thirty years, raising her daughter. She taught Southern Fiction at St. Michael's College in Winooski, Vermont. Having lived in London and Paris, she currently divides her time between Vermont and New York City.
Alther is the author of five novels -- KINFLICKS, ORIGINAL SINS, OTHER WOMEN, BEDROCK and FIVE MINUTES IN HEAVEN. Each has appeared on bestseller lists worldwide, having been translated into French, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Danish, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Hungarian, Slovene, Greek, Turkish, and Spanish. The first three novels were featured selections of the Book-of-the-Month Club, and the five novels combined have sold over six million copies. A novella entitled BIRDMAN AND THE DANCER, based on a series of monotypes by the French artist Francoise Gilot, has been published in Holland, Denmark and Germany. For biographical information and critical discussion of her work, see CONTEMPORARY AUTHORS, CONTEMPORARY LITERARY CRITICISM, CONTEMPORARY AUTHORS NEW REVISION SERIES, MAJOR TWENTIETH CENTURY WRITERS, GAY AND LESBIAN LITERATURE, LITERATURE OF THE APPALACHIAN SOUTH, and the OXFORD COMPANION TO WOMEN WRITING IN THE UNITED STATES.
Alther's reviews and articles have appeared in many periodicals, including the NEW YORK TIMES, ART AND ANTIQUES, LOS ANGELES TIMES, BOSTON GLOBE, WASHINGTON POST, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, NATURAL HISTORY, NEW SOCIETY, and the GUARDIAN. She has done reading tours throughout North America, western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, and China. Her novels are studied in university courses in English literature, Southern literature, Appalachian literature, women's studies, gay and lesbian studies, sociology, and psychology.
One of Alther's stated aims is to portray the human reality behind cultural stereotypes, particularly those regarding women. She often deals with such material in a humorous fashion, reviewers in both the NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW and THE NATION having written that she possesses "comic genius".
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