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Wendy Lesser Edit Profile

consultant , writer , Literary magazine editor

Wendy Lesser, American Literary magazine editor, writer, consultant. Fellow National Endowment for Humanities, 1983, 92, Guggenheim fellow, 1988, American Council of Learned Societies, 1996, Open Society Institute fellow, since 1998.


Lesser, Wendy was born on March 20, 1952 in Santa Monica, California, United States. Daughter of Murray Leon Lesser and Millicent (Gerson) Dillon.


Bachelor, Harvard University, 1973;Master of Arts, Cambridge (England) University, 1975;Doctor of Philosophy, University of California, Berkeley, 1982.


Lesser did her undergraduate work at Harvard College and her graduate work at University of California, Berkeley, with time in between at King's College, Cambridge. She is the founding editor of the arts journal The Threepenny Review, and author of ten books, including one novel, The Pagoda in the Garden (Other Press, 2005), and her latest nonfiction book, Why I Read (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2014).



She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, the Dedalus Foundation, and the New York Public Library's Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, among other places.


Married Richard Rizzo, January 18, 1985. 1 stepchild, Dov Antonio. 1 child, Nicholas.

Murray Leon Lesser Dillon

Millicent (Gerson) Dillon

Richard Rizzo

Nicholas Lesser