Alma Routsong

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Alma Routsong
Alma Routsong.jpg
Born November 26, 1924
Traverse City, Michigan
Died October 4, 1996(1996-10-04) (aged 71)
Poughkeepsie, New York
Pen name Isabel Miller
Alma mater Michigan State University
Genre Lesbian fiction

Alma Routsong (November 26, 1924 – October 4, 1996) was an American novelist best known for her lesbian fiction, published under the pen name Isabel Miller.[1]


Alma Routsong was born in Traverse City, Michigan on November 26, 1924, the daughter of Carl and Esther Miller Routsong. During World War II she served in the WAVES, training at the Farragut, Idaho Naval Training Center[2] and then working as a hospital apprentice. She graduated from Michigan State University in 1949 with a degree in art.

Routsong's first two novels were published under her own name, with the later works under the pen name, a combination of an anagram of "Lesbia" and her mother's maiden name.[3] Between 1968 and 1971 she worked as an editor at Columbia University. From the mid-1970s until 1986 she was a proofreader for Time Magazine.[4]

Routsong was an officer in the New York chapter of Daughters of Bilitis[5] and was arrested during a DOB police raid.[4]

Alma Routsong died in Poughkeepsie, New York on October 4, 1996.[6]


  • Routsong, Alma (1953). A Gradual Joy. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. 
  • Routsong, Alma (1959). Round Shape. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. 
  • Miller, Isabel (1969). A Place for Us. New York: Bleecker Street Press.  republished as Miller, Isabel (1971). Patience and Sarah. New York: McGraw-Hill. 
  • Miller, Isabel (1986). The Love of Good Women. Tallahassee, FL: Naiad Press. 
  • Miller, Isabel (1991). Side by Side. Tallahassee, FL: Naiad Press. 
  • Miller, Isabel (1993). A Dooryard Full of Flowers: and Other Short Pieces. Tallahassee, FL: Naiad Press. 
  • Miller, Isabel (1996). Laurel. Tallahassee, FL: Naiad Press. 

Awards and honors[edit]


  • "After the G.I. Wedding," (review of A Gradual Joy), The New York Times August 23, 1953
  • "When Mother Moved In," (review of Round Shape), The New York Times September 6, 1959
  • "Their love was a thing apart" (review of Patience and Sarah), The New York Times April 23, 1972


  1. ^ Gallagher, John (1999-08-17). "Take a Wilde RIDE - highlights of gay rights history from 1895-1998". The Advocate. Retrieved 2007-06-18. [dead link]
  2. ^ Traverse City Record-Eagle, August 17, 1945
  3. ^ Katz, Jonathan. "Writing and Publishing Patience and Sarah". Gay American History. Retrieved 2008-01-02. 
  4. ^ a b Wavie, "Isabel Miller"
  5. ^ Hogan and Hudson, Completely Queer
  6. ^ Social Security Death Index
  7. ^ "Mrs. Bruce Brodie Wins Fellowship to Conference" Urbana, Illinois Courier, July 28, 1957


  • Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2002
  • Steve Hogan and Lee Hudson, Completely Queer: The Gay and Lesbian Encyclopedia (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1998), pages 481-482.
  • Elizabeth M. Wavie, "Isabel Miller" in Sandra Pollack and Denise D. Knight (eds) Contemporary Lesbian Writers of the United States, (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1993), pp 354–360
  • Carol Hurd Green and Mary Grimley Mason (eds) "Alma Routsong", in American Women Writers, volume 5 (St James Press, 1994), pp 394–396

External links[edit]