Jump to content

Donna Levin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Donna Levin
Levin in 2017
Levin in 2017
Born (1954-09-04) September 4, 1954 (age 69)
Oakland, California, U.S.
EducationUniversity of California, Berkeley
University of California, Hastings College of the Law (JD)
Notable worksExtraordinary Means
California Street
There’s More Than One Way Home
He Could Be Another Bill Gates

The Talking Stick

Donna Levin (born September 4, 1954) is a San Francisco-based author, editor and writing teacher. She has published the novels Extraordinary Means (1987), California Street (1990), There’s More Than One Way Home (2017), He Could Be Another Bill Gates (2018), and The Talking Stick (2024).

Born in the city of Oakland, California, Levin graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in theater arts, and earned a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.[1]

Levin taught for many years for the University of California, Berkeley Extension as an instructor in the creative writing department. Levin drew from her experiences as a workshop leader there and at other venues to write two books on the craft of fiction, Get That Novel Started (Writer’s Digest Books, 1992) and Get That Novel Written (Writer’s Digest Books, 1996).

Levin’s papers are part of the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University,[2] and her novels are part of the collection of “California Fiction” in the California State Library.[3]



Extraordinary Means is a literary fantasy in which a young woman, although diagnosed in an irreversible coma, is able to observe her family members debate over whether or not to withdraw life support. It is loosely drawn from the real-life controversy surrounding the Karen Ann Quinlan case.

California Street, categorized as "romance suspence" by Marilyn Stasio of The New York Times[4] was published at a time when the number of women mystery writers was proliferating.[5] The protagonist is Joel Abramowitz, a compassionate but flawed psychoanalyst who inadvertently becomes involved in the disappearance of one woman and the murder of another.

There’s More Than One Way Home[6] is a retelling of Anna Karenina set in contemporary San Francisco. The novel features an autistic son, and is an addition to the new genre of "autism lit."[7]

He Could Be Another Bill Gates,[8] is a sequel to There's More Than One Way Home, and features the same main characters five years later.

The Talking Stick is a contemporary novel about four women who use a talking stick in their support group -- a talking stick that may or may not have magical powers.

Boston University & California State Library Collections[edit]

In 1990 following the publication of California Street, archivist Howard Gotlieb of Boston University wrote to Levin to ask her to be part of Boston University's archival material on contemporary fiction. Her papers are a part of Boston University's special collections.

In the early 2000's, California State Librarian Kevin Starr contacted Levin to become part of the Library's California Novels Collection. Levin's novels are all set in California, primarily the San Francisco Bay Area.


  1. ^ http://www.donnalevin.com/about/ Archived 2019-07-25 at the Wayback Machine Donna Levin Biography
  2. ^ http://www.bu.edu/dbin/archives/index.php?pid=403&study_guides=08 Donna Levin Papers
  3. ^ "Welcome to the California State Library". California State Library. 2022-01-18. Retrieved 2022-03-19.
  4. ^ "The New York Times". Crime. 1990-10-28. Retrieved 2022-03-19.
  5. ^ http://www.statelibraryofiowa.org/ld/continuing-ed/genrestudy/gsmyst/advenmyst Adventures in Storytelling: Mystery
  6. ^ Levin, Donna; Friedland, Jackie (2017-05-01). "There's More Than One Way Home". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 2022-03-19.
  7. ^ Magazine, Smithsonian (2017-05-24). "Why Your Next Favorite Fictional Protagonist Might Be on the Autism Spectrum". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved 2022-03-19.
  8. ^ Levin, Donna; Cavalli, Karen (2018-10-01). "HE COULD BE ANOTHER BILL GATES". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 2022-03-19.

External links[edit]