Mindy Lewis

Memoirist, Essayist, Editor, Writer at large and small

United States

Mindy Lewis is the author of Life Inside: A Memoir (Atria Books 2002, Washington Square Press 2003), co-author of A Curious Life: From Rebel Orphan to Innovative Scientist (Post Hill Press 2019), editor of DIRT: The Quirks, Habits and Passions of Keeping House (Seal Press 2009), and winner of New Letters 2015 Essay Award. Her essays, articles and book reviews have been published in Newsweek, New York Times Book Review, Lilith, Body & Soul, Poets & Writers, Arts & Letters Journal, New Letters, Many Mountains Moving, Santa Ana River Review, Permafrost, Psychoanalytic Perspectives, and in anthologies. She has taught memoir & nonfiction writing at The Writer’s Voice NYC, Hudson Valley Writers' Center, Brooklyn College, Poets & Writers, and as a visiting writer at SUNY and George Mason University’s MFA Program.

Santa Ana River Review
Keeping Time

When I was a little girl, I viewed my mother's fashion accessories as sacred objects. Silky, perfumed scarves. Buttery-soft kid gloves stretched over long fingers and polished nails. Slender three-inch heels with handbags to match and an array of belts that emphasized her slim waist and curvy hips.

New Letters
Our Little Jewish Girl

Winner New Letters 2015 Best Essay Prize / My boyfriend’s mother and I fell in love at first sight. She had stayed up late in her best dress and pearl necklace to welcome us after our long drive from Paris, with a bottle of champagne and a gateau charlotte that had taken all afternoon to prepare. “Ma fille,” she said....

Arts & Letters Journal
Two Tongues

Merci Skype, as Patrick would say, the software program that enables us to speak for free, any hour of the day or night. I plug in my earphones for sound so crystal clear I can hear the train whistling as it passes through Patrick’s Parisian suburb and he can hear the car alarms on Amsterdam Avenue that remind him of the legendary howls of my late cat Henry, whom Pat has dubbed Monsieur Henri.

Mr. Beller's Neighborhood
At Home on the Church Steps

On a blustery December evening on my way to a friend's dinner party, I stopped in front of a jumbo cardboard box on the steps of the church around the corner. "Jim?" I called out. A moment later a hand emerged and gave a little wave, followed by a head with tousled, graying hair.

Psychoanalytic Perspectives
One of the Good Guys

“Hi, KID. WANT TO MEET FOR LUNCH?” The smile on my face could be that of a teenager being asked out on a date. But it’s 2006, I’m 54 years old, and the voice on the phone belongs to my former “shrink.”

The Limits of Make-Believe

"I'll never let you go, Lizzie. No matter what happens to me, I'll never ever let you go." This refrain, which runs through "Without Tess," contains a dark double message about the bonds and boundaries of sisterhood.

Mindy Lewis's Happy Family

It's One Big Happy Family season here at This Writer's Life. In celebration of the book's paperback release I have asked a number of the writers from One Big Happy Family: 18 Writers Talk About Open Adoption, Mixed Marriage, Polyamory, Househusbandry, Single Motherhood, and Other Realities of Truly Modern Love, to reflect upon how things have changed (or remained the same) in their own lives since they wrote their essays over a year ago.

The Hudson River School of Tashlikh

I am in the habit of cycling down to the Boat Basin after work every day to revive my spirits; descending from the noise of the city to the peace of twilight by the river. I ride back and forth until I find a bench that beckons...

Ducts.org - Love Letters to My Father

Finally, I hold them in my hand. Five letters, hand-written on translucent onionskin paper and sealed in light blue airmail envelopes bearing red and white 8-cent U.S. Air Mail stamps. The stack of letters had been whispering to my unconscious mind ever since I'd read them shortly after my father's death in 1991.