Teasley, Lisa 1962–

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Teasley, Lisa 1962–

PERSONAL: Born July 22, 1962, in Los Angeles, CA; daughter of Larkin (an insurance company executive) and Violet (a jewelry designer and owner of a design business) Teasley; children: Imogen. Ethnicity: "African American." Education: University of California at Los Angeles, B.A. (English). Hobbies and other interests: Skate-boarding, gardening, accordion.

ADDRESSES: Agent—Lois Wallace Agency, 177 E. 70th Street, New York, NY 10021. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Writer and artist.


AWARDS, HONORS: May Merrill Miller Award for Short Fiction, 1984; short story award, National Society of Arts and Letters, 1988; award for best short story, Amaranth Review, 1992; Award for Achievement in Short Fiction, Pacificus Foundation, 2002; Gold Pen Award for best short story collection, 2002, for Glow in the Dark.


Glow in the Dark (short stories), Cune Press (Seattle, WA), 2002.

Dive (novel), Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2004.

Contributor to periodicals, including San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Details, and Washington Post Book World. Contributor to anthologies, including Step into a World, edited by Kevin Powell, Wiley (New York, NY), 2000; Shaking the Tree, edited by Meri Nana-Ama Danquah, W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 2003; and Women on the Edge, Toby Press.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Heat Signature, a novel set in the California desert and in Oregon, for Bloomsbury, publication expected in 2006; research on the West Indian diggers of the Panama Canal.

SIDELIGHTS: Lisa Teasley told CA: "My primary motivation for writing has always been the pursuit of understanding human nature, the ugly as well as the beautiful. I have been influenced by the deeply psychological and suffocating narratives of Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard, the optimism of Milan Kundera, the darkness of Yukio Mishima, the exaggerated romanticism in Marguerite Duras, the profound musicality of Toni Morrison, and the humor of Dostoevsky, to name a few.

"Before beginning any story or novel, a character has already haunted me for weeks or months, and then finally prompts me to sit down with him or her. I will have taken notes about this person and the person's circle, clipped newspaper articles about the area the character inhabits, and done extensive research on relevant issues such as their socio-economic, political, and familial circumstances. A typical workday starts with an hour-and-a-half of business e-mailing, then prose work from ten in the morning until five or six, breaking for lunch.

"Most of my characters tend to be victims or perpetrators of crime, addicts or obsessives, lovers and/or liars, loyal friends and treacherous types. I respect them all equally as people, and I try to tell the truth of their lives with the utmost empathy."



Anchorage Daily News, June 14, 2002, profile of Lisa Teasley.

International Herald Tribune, March 26, 2004, review of Dive.

LA Weekly, May 28, 2004.

Los Angeles Times, February 24, 2002, Reed Johnson, "Words from a Street-Smart Tale Teller," p. E1.

New York Times Book Review, March 21, 2004, Jeff Turrentine, review of Dive, p. 16.

Publishers Weekly, February 9, 2004, review of Dive, p. 55.

San Francisco Chronicle, March 28, 2004, review of Dive.

Village Voice, April 2, 2002, Greg Tate, "Adventures in the Skin Trade," p. 541.

W, March, 2004, review of Dive.