A proud lesbian feminist writer, Lesléa Newman made history in 1989 with her controversial children’s book, Heather Has Two Mommies. Heather was inspired by Newman’s friend, a lesbian mother, who complained that there were no children’s books with families that looked like hers. The book, originally a desktop publishing effort, sparked national controversy when it was included in the 1993 Rainbow Curriculum, a list of books that better reflected American children’s diverse experiences. Newman went on to write countless books for children, adolescents, and adults on homosexuality, Jewish identity, eating disorders, and AIDS, including the award–winning short story “A Letter to Harvey Milk.” She has won the Highlights for Children Fiction Writing Award and the James Baldwin Award for Cultural Achievement, among other honors, and from 2008–2010 was poet laureate of Northampton, Massachusetts. From 2005–2009 she taught at the Stonecoast MFA program at the University of Southern Maine. As of 2014 she is a faculty mentor at Spalding University’s brief residency MFA program.
More on Leslea Newman
- This Week in History: Lesléa Newman publishes groundbreaking children’s book, Heather Has Two Mommies
- Blog: Jewish women and GLBT Pride: Who will you add?
- Blog: A toast to Heather!
- Blog: New York's Big Day
- Blog: Ms. Magazine: A chat with Lesléa “Heather Has Two Mommies” Newman
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Leslea Newman." (Viewed on November 18, 2019) <https://jwa.org/people/newman-leslea>.