Donna Levin

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Donna Levin
Levin in 2017
BornSeptember 4, 1954
Oakland, California
Notable worksExtraordinary Means
California Street
There’s More Than One Way Home
He Could Be Another Bill Gates

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

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.


  1. ^ Donna Levin Biography
  2. ^ 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. ^ 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.

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