My name is Rosina Lippi. I’m an academic linguist, a former tenured university professor, a published novelist, an editor and a researcher.

My academic work appears under my full name, contemporary novels and short fiction under Rosina Lippi, and historical novels (in particular, a series of six known as the Wilderness series under the penname Sara Donati.

There is more information: about the novel I’m writing now; more on my background and work can be found here; and even more here.


Into the Wilderness

About this Website

I’ve been running this website for more than ten years, and a lot of detritus has accumulated including some 1,600 posts, 10,000 reader comments, and an unholy mess of images and diagrams, just to start. As the purpose here is to stay connected with my readers and win over new ones and to share information, I am undertaking a major overhaul of the whole shebang to make things easier for you, whether you’re an old friend who has been here since the beginning, or you’ve landed here via google.

The weblog focuses primarily on craft, research and publishing issues, subjects that are of interest to those who are trying to get started writing fiction. There’s also a lot of giving-away of books and other bits to keep people interested. The weblog is also a place where I answer reader mail that I think will be of interest to a wider audience.

There is a  FAQ page (if anybody is interested in helping out with that, I hope they won’t hesitate to yell, and loudly), information about my professional services, and a portfolio that needs to be beaten into shape.

About Homestead

One is reminded of Garcia-Marquez’s Hundred Years of Solitude, where the names also recur from one generation to the next, and whose style is similarly simple yet profound, honest and yet soothing.
Dylan Evans, for the Orange Prize Committee
An intricately braided narrative about a place that will be, for most readers, at first foreign and then familiar. These stories about love and community are exceptionally vivid, even when they contain ghosts and traces of memory. Homestead is a book of marvels.
Charles Baxter,
In Rosenau, a small, fully imagined world in the heart of the Bregenz Forest, Rosina Lippi gives us not only a village and its life, whole, complex, and alive–she gives us our friends and neighbors and secrets. Her clear prose has the weight and tender history of old silver and the tang of stainless steel. There are a hundred truths in these twelve stories.
Amy Bloom,
This is a novel of great depth, compassion and tenderness.
Brigitte Frase, The New York Times
Homestead is beautifully and carefully written. It can be compared to Louise Erdrich’s Love Medicine. I also found myself thinking about From Here to Eternity, so rich is Homestead in evocative detail of a lost, unique world.
Carolyn See, The Washington Post

Latest From The Blog

  • story prompt: bully

story prompt: bully

An Ohio judge came up with a unique punishment for a 62-year-old man who was found guilty of harassing his neighbors over the course of a 15-year feud.

As a punishment, Edmond Aviv will be forced to stand outside on Sunday for five hours with a sign that reads: "I AM A BULLY! I pick on children that are disabled, and I am intolerant of those that are different from myself. My actions do not reflect an appreciation for the diverse South Euclid community that I live in."

South Euclid Municipal Court Judge Gayle Williams-Byers came up with the sentence.

In addition to the sign, Aviv was also sentenced to 15 days in jail, seven months on probation, 100 hours of community service, anger management classes and personal counseling.

Aviv allegedly did some awful things to his neighbors, the Prughs, who adopted two black children with developmental disabilities.
Okay so, where does this story […]

  • how published / published how?

how published / published how?

I'm cross posting this to FaceBook because I'm hoping to get some real feedback.

All in all I think the huge jump in self publishing is a good thing, but at the moment it's a little bit like the wild west: lawless and unpredictable. There are self published books that are very good and that deserve to have found a traditional publisher, but there are also many, many pretty awful self published novels.

Now here's the problem: It's my sense (and correct me if I'm wrong) that self-published people don't make a point of that in their bios or blurbs. So when I come across a blurb about another author that reads: author of x novels, or published x novels, I now have to stop to wonder about the how.  Are we talking Norton or Penguin or Tor, or is this Amazon self-publishing? Further complicating the matter, there are some trends […]

  • California Digital Newspaper Collection

California Digital Newspaper Collection

  • February 7th, 2014

This online collection of newspapers is  an excellent resource for historians and writers of historical fiction, especially — even if you're not writing about California.

It's the most accessible online newspaper archive I've ever come across. Searchable, image size can be adjusted, and the text of whatever you're looking at shows up on the left via OCR — granted, lots of imperfections, but still legible enough to know if the page is worth downloading. You can clip articles or columns of ads, or grab the whole page as a pdf.  And best of all: if the article is spread out over columns or even pages, when you clip it, the whole article shows up, each piece appearing in its proper place. Here's a small clipping from the Sacramento Bee in March 1883:
From the front page:

This collection contains 61,412 issues comprising 545,955 pages and 6,364,529 articles.
The California Digital Newspaper Collection is […]

  • good words from readers

good words from readers

I'm not sure why, but just recently I've had a big bump in email and on-line notes about the Wilderness series, some really heartfelt and very kind responses. This is a general thank you to everybody for your support. Writing is a very solitary and often lonely way to make a living. Positive feedback from readers goes a long way to balance that out.