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

  • the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel

the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel

I'm pretty close to finished The Gilded Hour. Generally I am too Italian (that is, too superstitious) to talk about something good coming up, but I feel oddly confident. About finishing, that it. Feedback from beta readers and Jill my super agent has been very good.

Hmm. Maybe I should delete this post.

Ah, well. Live dangerously.

Click on the image to get a bigger version of a map of some of the most important geographic points for The Gilded Hour. Eventually there will be images that pop up from various points.





  • when fiction, history and genealogy collide

when fiction, history and genealogy collide

For anybody who has read this weblog in the past, it's no secret that I am more than a little obsessive-compulsive about research.

So today I was looking for medical texts published in the 1880s on a certain class of surgeries. The issue was (and I'll be brief): could I get away with intubation for a surgery conducted on xxxx in 1883. Short answer: yes.

While I was looking through the publications available online I ran across the title Post Mortems and Morbid Anatomy which is relevant to another question I'm researching. But then I checked the date and saw, alas, that it was printed in 1912. Twenty years too late.

That's when I saw the author's name.

A little detour here. The mathematician's grandfather's eldest sister (Minnie Green, by name) was one of the first women to graduate from medical school in England in the 19th century (actually she went to medical […]

  • not-so-secret vices: old newspapers

not-so-secret vices: old newspapers

  • June 24th, 2014

I spend untold hours reading the smallest print stories in newspapers issued in 1882-1883. Ninety percent of it is relevant to what I'm writing (how much did a house cost in Manhattan? In rural Connecticut? With a few acres? A furnace?). Some of it isn't. But I get ideas that often bear fruit, so I'm declaring myself not addicted, but appreciative.

Two recent examples from the NYTimes in 1883:

The first case is typical, but it gives me information on where such hearings took place and where crimes like this happened (I have a big wall map full of pins). You may not notice if I send a character to trial in the wrong court, but that kind of thing makes me break into a sweat.

The second article is a mystery to me, and I'm going to send it to various physician friends to see if they can give me […]

  • Giveaway: finito

Giveaway: finito

Thanks everybody for your input on this question. I don't know if I'll get around to actually doing this, but it's something I'm considering. If, however, you have a large writing/critique group within driving distance of Seattle and you'd like to arrange a short (one day) conference, please email me. That would be a definite possibility.

Lauren J., I pulled your name — so please get in touch by email so I can get your ebooks to you.