Dierbeck, Lisa 1963-

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Dierbeck, Lisa 1963-


Born 1963. Education: Graduated from Wesleyan University, 1986.


Home—Brooklyn, NY.


Writer. Worked for civil rights organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Also worked as a speechwriter; in a homeless shelter in London, England; in fashion in Milan, Italy; and in an art gallery, New York, NY.


Pushcart Prize nominations for short stories.


One Pill Makes You Smaller (novel), Farrar, Straus & Giroux (New York, NY), 2003.

Contributor of articles to periodicals, including Elle, Glamour, New York Observer, New York Times, and O, The Oprah Magazine; contributor of short stories to literary journals and anthologies.


In her first novel, One Pill Makes You Smaller, Lisa Dierbeck writes about eleven-year-old Alice, whose mature looks leads to a sexual encounter with a man in his thirties. Alice is essentially abandoned by her parents to be cared for by a drug-addicted aunt. The girl's troubles begin when she is sent off to the "Balthus Institute," which used to be a reputable art camp for kids but has turned into a dilapidated commune by the time Alice arrives in the 1970s. Pretending to be as old as her buxom, pinup-girl looks indicate, Alice attracts an institute hanger-on named J.D., a charming drug dealer. "The slow seduction of Alice … lies somewhere between the story of a pedophile stalking his prey and that of a free-love druggie who believes Alice is as old as she looks," wrote a Kirkus Reviews contributor. Emily Lloyd, writing in the School Library Journal, noted that the author "is brilliant at capturing what it feels like to be a young girl looked at by an older man." A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote: "It's a genuinely original, compulsively readable first novel, sure to stir up controversy." In a review in the New Leader, Kate Tylor commented that the novel "overflows with outlandish, often quite clever, plot devices."



Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 2003, review of One Pill Makes You Smaller, p. 871.

Library Journal, July, 2003, Robin Nesbitt, review of One Pill Makes You Smaller, p. 121.

New Leader, September-October, 2003, Kate Tylor, review of One Pill Makes You Smaller, p. 34.

New York Times, September 7, 2003, Stacey D'Erasmo, review of One Pill Makes You Smaller.

Publishers Weekly, June 16, 2003, review of One Pill Makes You Smaller, p. 47; August 11, 2003, Claiborne. "Lisa Dierbeck: One Pill Makes You Smaller," profile of author, p. 135.

School Library Journal, January, 2004, Emily Lloyd, review of One Pill Makes Your Smaller, p. 163.


Boston Phoenix,http://www.thephoenix.com/ (September 19-25, 2003), Ricco Villanueva Siasoco, review of One Pill Makes You Smaller.

Earfull.org,http://www.earfull.org/ (November 2, 2006), brief profile of author.

Small Spiral Notebook,http://www.smallspiralnotebook.com/ (November 2, 2006), Katherine Darnell, review of One Pill Makes You Smaller.

Wesleyan Argus, Wesleyan University Web site,http://www.wesleyanargus.com/ (November 2, 2006), John Cusick, "Lisa Dierbeck '86 Discusses Debut Novel One Pill Makes You Smaller."