Skip to main content

Brasfield, Lynette

Brasfield, Lynette

PERSONAL: Born in Durban, South Africa; immigrated to United States, 1985; children: two sons. Education: Rhodes University, B.A.; Natal University, graduate degree. Hobbies and other interests: Books, cats, wine, conversation, independent movies, and good food, particularly Indian cuisine.

ADDRESSES: Agent—Betsy Amster, Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises, P.O. Box 27788, Los Angeles, CA 90027-0788. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Writer. Worked variously as a journalist, toy salesperson, assistant librarian, high school teacher, and public-relations executive.


AWARDS, HONORS: Outstanding Media award, NAMI.


Nature Lessons, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2003.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Anyhow in a Corner (novel).

SIDELIGHTS: In 1985 Lynette Brasfield emigrated from her home in Johannesburg, South Africa to Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and then to California in 1988. She has set parts of her debut novel, Nature Lessons, in Cleveland Ohio, home to her protagonist, single, forty-year-old advertising copywriter Kate Jensen.

The story begins in 1995, with flashbacks to the 1960s and 1970s. Kate has not been home to South Africa for more than twenty years, but when she receives a letter from her widowed mother, Violet, asking her to return because she is suffering with cancer, Kate does so. Violet, whom Kate considered paranoid, had claimed during the years Kate was a teen that the country's apartheid government was spying on her and that her Afrikaner brother-in-law, Oom Piet, was trying to have her institutionalized as a schizophrenic. A Publishers Weekly reviewer wrote that Brasfield "deftly introduces Jensen's doubts about her own mental health as her mother's mindset becomes an issue."

When she arrives in Durban, Kate is unable to find her mother, but does find evidence that some of her mother's allegations may be true. She also learns that her uncle may have killed her mother's lover, Winston, who was the family gardener and a freedom fighter. Booklist contributor Hazel Rochman felt that Brasfield "gets exactly right the South African landscape from the viewpoint of a white girl in a 'colonial cocoon.'"



Booklist, April 1, 2003, Hazel Rochman, review of Nature Lessons, p. 1375.

Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2003, review of Nature Lessons, p. 252.

Library Journal, March 15, 2003, Patricia Gulian, review of Nature Lessons, p. 113.

Publishers Weekly, May 12, 2003, review of Nature Lessons, p. 45.


Lynette Brasfield Home Page, (January 28, 2003).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Brasfield, Lynette." Contemporary Authors. . 21 Aug. 2019 <>.

"Brasfield, Lynette." Contemporary Authors. . (August 21, 2019).

"Brasfield, Lynette." Contemporary Authors. . Retrieved August 21, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.