Leslie Brody

Media & Communication

Leslie Brody


Ph.D. University of Connecticut- Mansfield, CT

M.A. University of Connecticut- Mansfield, CT  

 B.A. San Francisco State University- San Francisco, CA


For the Media

Contact :
Media Relations


Hall of Letters
P: 909.748.8574
E: leslie_brody@redlands.edu

Current Work

My newest book a biography called "The Running Away Account: Jessica Mitford in America" was published by Counterpoint Press in 2010.

Over the course of her long and adventurous life, Jessica Mitford was an investigative journalist, civil rights activist, vivid raconteur and champion of outsiders and underdogs. You find that her admirers and detractors use the same words to describe her: muckraker, subversive, mischief-maker, tease, and nuisance. In a series of literary exposes like "The American Way of Death, The Trial of Dr. Spock" (about conspiracy laws during the Vietnam era) and "Kind and Usual Punishment" (about the necessity of prison reform) Mitford fearlessly defied authority figures. It was a habit she'd cultivated reaching back to the Thirties, when as the daughter of English aristocrats she'd repudiated wealth and privilege to run away to the Spanish Civil War with Winston Churchill's nephew, Esmond Romilly. The inscription on the Mitford family coat of arms was "God Careth for Us," but embarrass the powerful, mock the hypocrite and shift the complacent were always mottos more to Decca's taste.

Professional Background

I've published two books. Red Star Sister was published in 1998. It is a memoir. A Motel of the Mind is a collection of lyric essays (some written by me and some by Gary Amdahl). It was published in 2001.

My memoir Red Star Sister was awarded the 1999 PEN Center USA West prize for Creative Nonfiction. I've been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for short fiction, a McKnight Award in Screenwriting, and two Jerome Fellowships in Playwrighting. I've worked as a playwright-in-residence at various theatres, also as a librettist for operas associated with both the Minnesota Opera and the Philadelphia Opera. I was a contributing editor to the literary journal and book review The Hungry Mind Review for eight years and I was the on-staff monthly book columnist for Elle magazine (1998-99). I have also received a Dayton Hudson Grant for literary criticism. I was also a Sundance Fellow in Arts Journalism. I've held International Writing Fellowships at the Camargo Foundation, in France and at Hawthornden in Scotland. In the U.S. I've been in residence as a writing Fellow at the McDowell Colony, Centrum, Yaddo, Ragdale and the Virginia Center for the Arts.

Leslie Brody is a long-time member of the Johnston Center Faculty Advisory Committee.


Previous Teaching Experience

University of Connecticut

Previous Relevant Work Experience

  • Immediately after High school became an underground press reporter- traveled around Europe and lived in London, sampling various hippie occupations

  • Returned to California

  • Worked as a librarian in the San Francisco College of Mortuary Science

  • Became involved with The One-Act Theatre Company of San Francisco as a Resident Playwright

  • Moved to Minneapolis to continue work in theatre on a fellowship at the Playwrights Center

  • Worked at the Hungary Mind Bookstore, as the store publicist

  • Joined The Hungary Mind Review as columnist and contributing editor-writing many reviews

  • Wrote reviews for various national publications while plays and opera librettos produced around the country

  • Moved to CT to begin grad school and became Staff Book Reviewer for Elle magazine

Courses Offered

I teach introductory, intermediate and advanced workshops in the Creative Writing Department. I also teach seminars on a variety of topics. Some of these include: documentary film, monologue writing for the stage, literary journalism and nontraditional biography.

Publications and Productions


Quiet, Wyatt: Staged reading in LA, Playwrights Theatre 2007

Harriet the Spy: (Adaptation of Louise Fitzhugh's novel), summer 1999, Seattle Children's Theater School

Harriet the Spy: (Adaptation) Children's Theatre Co. (1988)

Emma Rothstien: New Classic Theatre (1986), Tracey Robert's Studio, First Street Playhouse (1987), One Act Theatre Co. (1979)

Baby Love: Theatre Three (1986)

Quiet, Wyatt: North American History Theatre (1987)

History of Rapture: Red Eye Collaboration, intersection

Water Flowing Under: Bay Area Playwrights Festival (1981), Playwrights Center, Mpls., MN (1984)

Questionnaire: One Act Theatre Company, San Francisco, (1978) Reviews Upon Request


Hawks and Doves, commissioned by the New Music Theatre Ensemble. Composer: Leslie Ball. Currently in process

Invited to participate in the Composer/Librettist Studio, Opera for the Eighties And Beyond (1995)

The Black Rose of the Forest Perilous, in collaboration with Composer David John Olson

Lilith by the Sea, with Miriam Gerberg, Commissioned by The MN.Opera's New Music Theatre Ensemble (1988)


Emma Rothstein for KPFA Berkeley

History of Rapture - National Public Radio

Invited Presentations

Octagon Theatre, University of Bolton, England, 2007

Camargo Foundation, 2005

Speakout Reading, April 2003

Collegial Conversation, October 2002

Book Reception with Ralph Angel and Pat Geary, May 2002

Los Angeles Times Book Fair, "Inside Out: The Art of the Memoir," April 2002

Selected panelist at Board of Trustees Retreat, November 2001, "Art of the Aftermath of 9/11"

Caltech reading and discussion of "Red Star Sister," November 2001

Panelist and Moderator, Campus Conversation, October 2001

Associated Writing Program Conference Panelist, Film and the Literary Arts, April 2001

Reading, University of California, Riverside, Writer's Week, February 2001

Sundance Writer's Reading, Park City, Utah, January 2001

Reading, Northlight Books, December 1998

Reading, Frugal Frigate, Redlands, March 1999

Reading, Cornelia Street Café, New York City, April 1999

Reading, University of Connecticut-invited by English dept.

National Public Radio, All Things Considered. Sept 1998

Blue Moon Bookstore, San Diego, Sept. 1998

Midnight Special Bookstore, Los Angeles, Sept. 1998

Much Ado about Books, Redlands, September 1998

Diesel Books, Oakland, December 1998

Book Passage, Marin, December 1998

Awards and Honors

"Red Star Sister" was awarded the "1999 PEN Center USA West prize for Creative Nonfiction"

"National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship" for short fiction

"McKnight Award in Screenwriting"

"Two Jerome Fellowships in Playwrighting"

"Dayton Hudson Grant for literary criticism"

"Sundance Fellow in Arts Journalism"

"International Writing Fellowships: Camargo Foundation, in France and at Hawthornden in Scotland"

"Writer in residence or fellow at McDowell Colony, Centrum, Yaddo, Ragdale and the Virginia Center for the Arts"