A former psychologist and political journalist with deep roots in both Judaism and Catholicism, Lesley Hazleton is, as she writes in the introduction to her biography of Mary, "a Jew who once seriously considered becoming a rabbi, a former convent schoolgirl who daydreamed about being a nun, an agnostic with a deep sense of religious mystery though no affinity for organized religion."
Born in England, Hazleton reported from Israel for Time magazine, specializing in religious, social and cultural issues, and has since written feature articles on Middle East politics for, among others, The New York Times, Esquire, Vanity Fair, The Nation, and Harper’s.
Her most recent book is "Jezebel: the Untold Story of the Bible’s Harlot Queen." Previous books include three acclaimed volumes of Middle East reportage: "Israeli Women," "Where Mountains Roar," and the award-winning "Jerusalem, Jerusalem" — all widely praised for their blend of insight, in-depth reporting, and fine writing. In her own bad-girl past, she wrote about riding around in cars.
Hazleton will be leading a core morning workshop in nonfiction writing at the 2008 Port Townsend Writers’ Conference, with an emphasis less on perfecting work in hand than on playing with ideas and approaches to move participants forward in their work. "I think of a workshop as a safe place to experiment, and fall flat on your face to get up and start again with a big grin," Hazleton says. "I’ll be focusing on three things: trusting your own voice, re-creating the moment on the page, and playing with the possibilities of creative nonfiction."