Elizabeth Partridge

Elizabeth Partridge

Bio

“I grew up in a large, eccentric family in the San Francisco Bay Area. My grandmother was photographer Imogen Cunningham, and my grandfather, Roi Partridge, was an etcher. There were five kids in my family, and we lived in an enormous house full of dogs and cats, chameleons, fish, tortoises, and even a pet tarantula.

My father, Roi Partridge, grew up loving photography and helping his mother, Imo, in the darkroom. When he was just seventeen she sent him to apprentice with her friend, photographer Dorothea Lange. Over the next few years he was gradually drawn into Dorothea’s family. When he married and my parents had kids, we were included in the diverse bunch of children, step-children and grandchildren that made up Dorothea’s family. Thanksgiving, Christmas and Fourth of July were all made magical by Dorothea’s extraordinary celebrations and rituals.

In 1974, I was the first student to graduate with a degree in Women’s Studies from the University of California at Berkeley. A year later I went to Great Britain to study Chinese medicine, earning a Licentiate of Acupuncture in 1978 and returning to the Bay Area to practice acupuncture and herbal medicine.

In the early nineties I began writing books as well as practicing medicine. I love the wide array of genres within the field of children’s books, and especially enjoy writing biographies, historical fiction, and picture books.

My first book, Dorothea Lange: A Visual Life (Smithsonian, 1993) was followed by a middle grade novel, Clara and the Hoodoo Man (Dutton, 1996), and Restless Spirit: the Life and Work of Dorothea Lange (Viking, Fall 1998), a photo biography for young adults. Pig’s Eggs came out last year (Golden Books, Spring 2000). Oranges on Golden Mountain has just been released (Dutton, Spring 2001), and will soon be followed by an easy reader, Annie and Bo (Spring 2002) and my biography on Woody Guthrie (Viking, Spring 2002).

I still live in the San Francisco Bay Area with my husband and two sons, practicing Chinese medicine and writing books.”

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