Skip to Main Content

Lowell Stories: Women's History

Elinor Lipman (1950-)

Elinor Lipman by Michael Lionstar.


Elinor Lipman was born and raised in Lowell, Massachusetts, the second daughter of Julia M. and Louis S. Lipman. She attended Lowell public schools and graduated in 1972 from Simmons College (now Simmons University) in journalism.] While still in college, Lipman worked as an intern for “The Lowell Sun.”

During the 1970s she was a staff writer and editorial assistant for the Massachusetts Teachers Association monthly newsletter, “Massachusetts Teacher.” Lipman also worked for a time for Boston's public television station, WGBH, writing press releases. She credits the adult education creative writing class she took at Brandeis University in 1978 for propelling her into writing fiction.

She began writing fiction in 1979, and her first short story, “Catering,” was published in “Yankee Magazine.” Lipman’s first book, “Into Love and Out Again,” a collection of short stories, was published by Viking in 1987. She published her first novel, “The She Found Me,” in 1990.

She lives in Manhattan. Her 1998 novel “The Inn at Lake Devine,” explores Antisemitism and Jewish intermarriage. Lipman received the New England Book award for fiction in 2001. Her novel “Then She Found Me” was adapted into a 2008 feature film, directed by and starring Helen Hunt, Bette Midler, Colin Firth, and Matthew Broderick, a process that took 19 years. Two of her other novels have also been optioned for movies.



The Pollard Memorial Library Foundation is delighted to announce that submissions are open for the first Elinor Lipman Award for Writing. This award honors Elinor Lipman, a distinguished, prolific and much-loved author born and raised in Lowell, by awarding a prize of $1,000 for a work of fiction or creative nonfiction written by a Lowell-based author. Submissions are welcome on or before May 20, 2022.