Alicia Bay Laurel

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Alicia Bay Laurel (born Alicia Kaufman, May 14, 1949 in Hollywood, California) is an American artist, author, and musician. Laurel is best known for her 1970 book "Living On The Earth", a notable guide for participants in the American back-to-the-land movement of the 1960s and 1970s.

Laurel grew up exposed to the arts, intellectual ideas and political activism. Her mother, Verna Lebow, was a sculptor and her father, Paul Kaufman, was a doctor. She briefly attended the Otis Art Institute, San Francisco State University, and San Francisco Fashion Institute before seeking her own course driven by these influences. She studied music as well, and learned open-tuned guitar improvisation from John Fahey, who at the time was married to her cousin Janet Lebow.

Laurel lived on Wheeler Ranch near Occidental, California, in Sonoma County in the early 1970s, where she wrote her book, Living on the Earth. Designed to be a guide for others at the commune, the book was first published by The Bookworks in Berkeley, California, in 1970 and sold out the first printing. It was picked up by Random House in 1971 and sold more than 350,000 copies. It appeared on the New York Times Best Seller list.[1] Laurel's distinctive drawing style is featured also in Home Comfort: Life on Total Loss Farm, and in this book, income from Living on the Earth is cited as one source of support for that southern Vermont commune.

Moving to Maui in 1974, she had many professions, including underwater photographer, elementary school teacher, musician and businesswoman. She updated Living on the Earth in 2000, travelled around the U.S., and returned to Hawaii.

Laurel still makes art and music, and is currently[when?] working on several book projects.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Alicia Bay Laurel:Biography". Archived from the original on 15 October 2006. Retrieved November 15, 2006.