Lucy Jane Bledsoe
Headshot for Lucy Jane Bledsoe
Agent: Reiko Davis
Personal Website

Lucy Jane Bledsoe is the author of several works of fiction for both adults and children, including A Thin Bright Line, which was a Lambda Literary Award and Ferro-Grumley Award finalist. She is the winner of an American Library Association Stonewall Award, a Yaddo Fellowship, a California Arts Council Fellowship in Literature, two National Science Foundation Artists & Writers Fellowships, and a finalist for the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association Fiction Award. A native of Portland, Oregon, she now lives in Berkeley, California.

Praise for TELL THE REST

"Two conversion therapy survivors go back to the site of their trauma, hoping the truth will set them free... The compelling leads, engaging blow-by-blows of basketball games, and small-town feuds ground a heartening, issues-driven book. Secondary characters shine, too...This satisfyingly nuanced story tackles sexuality and spiritual abuse, offering connection and redemption."—Kirkus, Starred Review

"Writing in a graceful, fluid style, Bledsoe examines life in Rockside in all its dimensions while revealing how Delia makes peace with a traumatic time of her past. Delia’s reconnecting with Ernest, who bonded with her during camp and is now an accomplished poet, gives the novel a definite upbeat tone and message. Both insightful and page-turning; highly recommended."—Library Journal, Starred Review

"Two queer people who escaped Christian conversion therapy as teens find their way back to each other as adults in the keenly observed latest from Bledsoe...Bledsoe paints an engrossing and complicated picture of small-town life and queer survival...a triumph of compassion.”—Publishers Weekly

"Ernest and Delia are sucked back into each other’s orbit with no choice but to face the trauma they endured as young adults at Celebration Camp, returning to the roots of their pain in an effort to set themselves free. Delia and Ernest are beautiful, complicated characters, and their journey is important for readers to witness, as it also gives voice to voiceless victims of conversion torture."—Booklist

"[A] powerful reading experience on the resilience, determination, and personal pride required for queer survival. Bledsoe clearly demonstrates a knack for dialogue and swift plotting, and the reality of the theme itself will hit home for many readers."—The Bay Area Reporter

“A multilayered gem of a novel, polished, intelligent, and moving. Tell the Rest deftly explores courage, drive, happiness, sexuality, love, and more in a riveting story that whisks readers along to a surprising and satisfying conclusion. I could not put it down.”—Meg Waite Clayton, New York Times best-selling author of The Last Train to London

“I feel privileged to have had an early read of Lucy Jane Bledsoe’s Tell the Rest. It’s an important book with a story we need now about the horrors of conversion therapy and adult survivors of childhood trauma. And it’s a timely book with an urgent exploration of issues including gender, race, class, sexuality, religion, and family. But mostly it’s also a character-driven novel full of basketball, high school escapades, cats who cannot be caged, academics who cannot behave, love for booksellers and bookstores, and indeed love for all kinds of people who need it, which is to say all of us. I enjoyed it beginning to end.” —Laurie Frankel, New York Times best-selling author of One Two Three

“Lucy Jane Bledsoe’s new novel is a revelation as it skillfully unfurls the lives of three characters—two white, one Black—who’ve meant psychic and literal survival to each other. Bledsoe draws a hard-edged picture of what abuse adults are willing to perpetrate on children who don’t fit their mold. Her tender yet precise debriding of the resultant wounds is an accomplishment that will stay with you. Tell the Rest is heartbreaking, chilling, and ultimately triumphant.” —Jewelle Gomez, Lambda Award–winning author of The Gilda Stories

“I soared through the delicately orchestrated pages of this novel. Tell the Rest asks the reader many things, but mainly it asks each of us to learn how to fly, to leap beyond words. The reader’s heart is broken, but not the music that the story creates or the challenges of building new landscapes for these incredible characters—sexual, physical, emotional. This is the Lucy Jane Bledsoe novel one lives for, a novel that not only touches the parts that burn but the ways we heal each other even in the silences.” —Jerry Thompson, coeditor of Berkeley Noir

Tell the Rest is the story of two bruised people—a girls’ basketball coach and a poet—who are finding their feet, and finding their way back to friendship, years after the shared trauma of a religious conversion therapy camp. It’s beautifully told, unsentimental, and every character in it feels like someone I know, someone utterly real. This is a literary novel that could change lives. I can’t wait to put it into the hands of all my friends!” —Molly Gloss, Whiting Award–winning author of The Jump-Off Creek


Named a 2022 Golden Poppy Award Finalist (California Independent Booksellers Alliance)

“A timeless and triumphant story of courage in the face of opposition, as well as a glimpse into the early days of Title IX’s implementation. Knowledgeable about, and appreciative of, the trailblazers who fought for fairness and equal opportunities for women in sports, No Stopping Us Now is an excellent historical novel.” Foreword Reviews (starred review)

“The cause is just, the action absorbing, the sexist flack still all too familiar.” Kirkus Reviews

“It's tempting to say that No Stopping Us Now transports us back to the intense battles teen girls faced in the early years of Title IX, except that similar battles rage on today. This timeless story is a must-read for adolescents trying to find themselves and their powerful voices both personally and politically.” —Sherry Boschert, author, 37 Words: Title IX and Fifty Years of Fighting Sex Discrimination

“So many young women athletes today grow up without understanding the importance of Title IX and how hard previous generations struggled for the opportunity to participate in the sports they loved. In writing No Stopping Us Now, Bledsoe not only informs and entertains, she directly connects young readers to an integral part of women's sports history that should never be forgotten.” —Lyndsey D'Arcangelo, sports writer; co-author, Hail Mary: The Rise and Fall of the National Women’s Football League

“Lucy Bledsoe conjures up everyday sexism on the cusp of Title IX with powerful immediacy. From Shirley Chisholm and Gloria Steinem, to macrame and  hip-huggers, we are solidly in 1974. Yet there’s something absolutely contemporary in the way Bledsoe captures the perils, the highs, and the awkward, nonverbal jostling of high school social life. No Stopping Us Now takes a historic moment for women’s sports and replays it in all its sweaty, visceral glory.” —Alison Bechdel, author, Fun Home and The Secret to Superhuman Strength 

No Stopping Us Now is full of such heart, love and courage. A stunning and brave journey from start to finish, I loved Louisa and her bold crew of superstar athletes who rose up together to be seen, valued and heard. This is a book to be treasured, taught and shared. I want my children and students to know what it means to fight for what you believe in. To take up space, to raise your voice and most of all, to get on the court and play.” —Ellen Hagan, author, Don’t Call Me a Hurricane 

“Time and again, this skilled author reminds her readers of second-wave feminism's triumphs and turning points from the early 1970s...No Stopping Us Now fearlessly invokes a recent past we must become reacquainted with, the better to understand how far women have come and what's at stake for our rights and opportunities." —Bonnie J. Morris, women's history professor and author of What's The Score? Twenty-Five Years of Teaching Women's Sports History

No Stopping Us Now reminds us of the battles fought, and won, by the first generation of Title IX athletes, those girls and women who made possible all of the opportunities female athletes have today. I guarantee you’ll be rooting for Louisa as she speaks truth to power and stands up to opponents on and off the court.” —Sue Macy, author, Breaking Through: How Female Athletes Shattered Stereotypes in the Roaring Twenties

“The characters are beautifully drawn, the story expertly plotted and moving and as a former D-I basketball player, it is close to my heart.” —Mary Volmer, author, Reliance, Illinois


Long-listed for American Library Association's Notable Books 2020

Best Children's Books of the Year 2020, Bank Street College of Education

"Ms. Bledsoe ably conveys the children’s competence—they know how to hunt and bivouac—but also the youthful limits of their strengths and capabilities, both in the wild and out of it."—The Wall Street Journal

"Nuanced, character-driven action." —Kirkus Reviews

"This adventure story is all about family and survival, and Willa shows amazing strength in supporting her brothers and keeping them all alive. The straightforward narration makes the story accessible for upper elementary, and the action, issues, and themes make it suitable for middle school readers as well." —School Library Connection

"Combining elements of survivalism, resilience in the face of adversity, and adaptation to the unknown, Bledsoe skillfully weaves a tale of adventure and coming of age on the Alaskan frontier. . . . Bledsoe makes Willa a likable, relatable, and strong lead who will appeal to readers of a similar age."—School Library Journal


"It triumphs as an intimate and humane evocation of day-to-day life under inhumane circumstances."—New York Times Book Review

“Bledsoe covers a lot of ground here, imagining her intellectual aunt’s relationship to the queer cultural transformations of the 1950s, as well as the paranoia of the Cold War era.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“This is gripping historical fiction about queer life at the height of the Cold War and the civil rights movement, and its grounding in fact really makes it sing. Like the scientists whose papers she edits, Lucybelle Bledsoe is passionate about the truth. Whether it’s the climate history of the planet as illuminated by cores of polar ice or the pursuit of an authentic emotional life in the miasma of McCarthyism, she operates with piercing honesty.”—Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home

“A testament to courage and perseverance in the face of oppression, and a compelling, literary page-turner worthy of standing alongside the works of Pat Barker and Graham Greene. A Thin Bright Line reminds us that we are nothing, deep down, without love and dignity.”—Patrick Ryan, author of The Dream Life of Astronauts

“In this ingenious hybrid of fact and fiction, a fine novelist uses her storytelling skills to recover the lost life of a favorite aunt, a bookish, unmarried scientist from Arkansas. With her story Bledsoe also exhumes a dark, clandestine age in American history, the time of Ann Bannon and Patricia Highsmith, but made more intimate and real.”—Christopher Bram, author of Gods and Monster

“An engaging and moving novel about an unforgettable character. Intelligent, unadorned, and unsentimental, it allows us to look at a difficult time in American history with clarity instead of nostalgia.”—Rabih Alameddine, author of An Unnecessary Woman

“Bledsoe injects life and dimension through her often stunning dialogue. With heart and zest, the author depicts Lucybelle's slice of life as both pleasant and harrowing.”—Publishers Weekly

“Through her fictional reconstruction of the life of her namesake, her beloved aunt—who fought the good fight as a pioneering professional and a lesbian in unsympathetic times—Lucy Jane Bledsoe re-creates an important piece of history and imagines what it was like to live it. Poignant in both its conception and execution.”—Lillian Faderman, author of The Gay Revolution

“A story set in mid-20th century America – one that deftly weaves closeted sexuality, Cold War politics and a mysterious death that haunts the author to this day.”—San Jose Mercury News

“Is it possible for a novel to both break your heart and to heal it? . . . Bledsoe is deft in the way she shows . . . various models of how to be a lesbian in the world of the ‘50s and early ‘60s.”—Lambda Literary Review

Praise for LAVA FALLS

Winner of the Devil’s Kitchen Fiction Award

"Riveting new collection...fully realized characters; stories that stick to your ribs." —Toronto Star

"In these twelve remarkable stories, the reader journeys from the remotest inner reaches of Alaska to deceptively calm suburban neighborhoods to a research station at the bottom of the world. Yet Lucy Jane Bledsoe's true territory is the wild, uncharted expanse of the heart. A wise and wonderful collection." ―Kirstin Valdez Quade, author of Night at the Fiestas

"This novella and group of stories by Lucy Jane Bledsoe will move and surprise and thrill you. She brings us right into her characters' lives, taking us on unexpected journeys. Through it all,the empowered and vulnerablewomen in this lively fictional world continually find themselves, so as readers welearn more about survival and are reminded of hope. We find ourselves delightfully renewed." ―Allen Gee, author of My Chinese-America

 "From Antarctica to suburbia to the ancient past and a post-apocalyptic future, these tales of kick-ass women adventurers and survivor girls are big-hearted, breathtaking, and profound. Reading Lava Falls is like meeting an animal in the wild: I was rapt, unable to turn away, with no idea what would happen next." ―Micah Perks, author of What Becomes Us

    Akashic Books, 2023
    Three Rooms Press, 2022
    Margaret Ferguson Books, 2019
    Margaret Ferguson Books, 2019
    University of Wisconsin Press, 2018
    Rare Bird Books, 2018
    University of Wisconsin Press, 2016