Lauren Kessler

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Lauren Kessler is an American author, and immersion journalist who specializes in narrative nonfiction. She is also a professor at the University of Oregon where she directs the Writing Initiative in the School of Journalism and Communication.

Kessler is the author of nine works of narrative nonfiction including Raising the Barre: Big Dreams, False Starts and My Midlife Quest to Dance The Nutcracker (Da Capo Press, 2015); Counterclockwise: My Year of Hypnosis, Hormones and Other Adventures in the World of Anti-Aging (Rodale Press, 2013); and My Teenage Werewolf: A Mother, A Daughter, A Journey Through the Thicket of Adolescence (Penguin Books, 2011).

Her book, Dancing with Rose (renamed Finding Life in the Land of Alzheimer's in its paperback edition), won the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award and was named a Best Book of the Year by Library Journal. Her Oregon Book Award-winning book, Stubborn Twig, was chosen to be the book all Oregon reads in celebration of the state's 150th birthday.

Kessler is also author of Washington Post best-seller Clever Girl: Elizabeth Bentley, the Spy Who Ushered in the McCarthy Era, a biography of Elizabeth Bentley,[1] and the Los Angeles Times best-seller and Oregon Book Award finalist The Happy Bottom Riding Club, a biography of aviator Florence Pancho Barnes. David Letterman, in playful competition with Oprah, chose The Happy Bottom Riding Club as the first (and only) book for "Dave's Book Club." Kessler appeared on his show twice.

Kessler's journalism and essays have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, O Magazine, Ladies Home Journal, Woman's Day, Prevention (magazine),,, The Nation Magazine and Writer's Digest. She is a national speaker and workshop leader.

Kessler blogs about the hope and hype of anti-aging at


  • Ph.D., University of Washington, 1980
  • MS, University of Oregon, 1975
  • B.S.J., Northwestern University, 1972


  1. ^ Kessler, Lauren (13 October 2009). Clever Girl: Elizabeth Bentley, the Spy Who Ushered in the McCarthy Era. Harper Collins. p. 130. Retrieved 4 September 2017.

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