Brink, Elisabeth 1956-
Brink, Elisabeth 1956-
(Elisabeth Panttaja Brink)
PERSONAL: Born 1956; married (divorced); remarried; children: a son and a daughter. Education: Graduated from Brown University; Brandeis University, Ph.D., 1993.
CAREER: Writer, editor, and educator. Worked as an editor at Cricket, the Magazine for Children; has taught writing and literature at Harvard University, Tufts University, and Boston College. Previously worked as a technical editor, a high-tech marketing director, a product manager, an advertising copywriter, and a halfway-house counselor.
AWARDS, HONORS: Pushcart Prize nomination for short stories; fellowships in Prague and St. Petersburg; Fellowship for Graduate Research on Women.
Save Your Own (novel), Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2006.
Essays and short stories have appeared in periodicals, including the Vermont Literary Review, Gettysburg Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Manoa, Fiddlehead, and Orchid.
SIDELIGHTS: Known as a short-story writer, Elisabeth Brink turned to the novel to tell the story of Harvard Divinity School graduate student Gillian Cormier-Brandenburg. Save Your Own recounts Gillian’s experience as a supervisor of recovering addicts, a position she takes so she can obtain conversion narratives for her dissertation on the secular conversion experience. The homely and sexually inexperienced Gillian soon finds herself as night manager at Responsibility House, where she oversees a dozen recovering female addicts. Before long, she finds that she wants more out of her charges than their conversion stories; she also wants them to approve of her and perhaps help her lose her virginity. In addition, she finds herself becoming attracted to Janet, a tough resident who rides a motorcycle. “Brink has crafted an original heroine in Gillian, a half-pint, over-educated neurotic who finds the courage to let her heart override her overworked brain,” wrote a Kirkus Reviews contributor. A Publishers Weekly contributor referred to Save Your Own as a “sweet, well-premised. . . debut novel,” adding that “Gillian’s repetitive moral posturing presents questions that are compelling.” Another reviewer writing in Publishers Weekly commented that “Gillian is well developed as a narrator.” Caroline Leavitt, Porter Shreve, and Josh Emmons, writing in People, called the novel “funny [and] engaging.”
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES
Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2006, review of Save Your Own, p. 365.
People, July 24, 2006, Caroline Leavitt, Porter Shreve, and Josh Emmons, review of Save Your Own, p. 43.
Publishers Weekly, January 16, 2006, review of Save Your Own, p. 33; March 13, 2006, review of Save Your Own, p. 35.
Elisabeth Brink Home Page, http://www.elisabethbrink.com (October 30, 2006).