Helen Elaine Lee

The text you type here will appear directly below the image

Quick Links

Biography

Helen Elaine Lee’s first novel, The Serpent's Gift, was published by Atheneum in 1994 and her second novel, Water Marked, was published by Scribner in 1999. She recently finished "Life Without," a novel about the lives of ten people who are incarcerated in two neighboring U.S. prisons, and "The Hard Loss," a novel about a DNA exoneree’s first week of freedom after 22 years of incarceration for a crime he did not commit. Stories from "Life Without" have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Callaloo, Hanging Loose, Best African American Fiction 2009 (Bantam Books), and www.solsticelitmag.com.

She was educated at Harvard College and Harvard Law School. She is Associate Professor of Fiction Writing in MIT’s Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies and a Writer in Residence with the Solstice Low-Residency MFA program. A member of the Board of Directors of PEN New England, she serves on its Freedom to Write Committee and teaches in its Prison Creative Writing Program, which she helped to establish and directs.

Selected Works

Novel
"To read The Serpent's Gift is to experience rebirth."
--Walter Mosley
"An ambitious saga, written with the skill of someone born to the art of storytelling."
--Paule Marshall
"A novel of great ambition and achievement. . . about the power and the pain of memory, about the stumbling, staccato rhythms of family, about finding a way to go home again."
--Valerie Boyd, The Washington Post
Short Story
This story (quick link on the left) is part of the novel, "Life Without," about the lives of 10 characters who are incarcerated in two neighboring prisons, serving various sentences for a range of offenses.