As a child of the sixties, Leslie Lawrence knew she didn't want to duplicate her parents lives, yet she never imagined she'd stray so far outside the lines of their and her own expectations. The Death of Fred Astaire opens with the story, both wrenching and funny, of how Lawrence says her goodbyes to the iconic images she's held since her youth; she then proceeds to bear a child and raise him with her lesbian partner. Some essays in this debut collection reflect on legacies Lawrence inherited from her Jewish family and culture. In others, she searches gamely for a rich, authentic life a voice, a vocation, a community, even a god she can call her own.
Leslie Lawrence was raised in Queens and attended New York City’s public schools. A graduate of Oberlin College, Brown University, and Goddard College’s M.F.A. program (now Warren Wilson), she is a recipient of fellowships from the Massachusetts Artists Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Her work has been published in many journals and periodicals, including Prairie Schooner, Witness, Solstice, the Forward, and the Boston Globe Magazine.