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- Current Sarah Lawrence graduate student
- Earned her B.A. in English from Middlebury College
Foundations/Motivations: Worked in publishing, wanted to write
Experiences: Found encouragement at SLC, began writing memoir
Results: Has improved her skills as reader and observer of life
Kristina Lindbergh has been writing since adolescence, when she filled pages and pages in her diaries. But she wasn’t impressed with the creative writing courses she took in college, and her work in publishing didn’t allow her time to write. Then, a decade into motherhood, she and a friend decided to try a fiction-writing course at the Sarah Lawrence Center for Continuing Education. And they haven’t looked back. In 2001, both were accepted into the M.F.A. Fiction Writing program. “It just opened an entire world for me,” says Kristina, granddaughter of aviator and writers Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh.
B.A., English, Middlebury College (1976)
Work before Sarah Lawrence:
Kristina spent 13 years working for various publishers, ranging from an industrial publisher in Seattle, focused on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and the coal industry, to trade book publishers in New York City.
The classes at Sarah Lawrence are so intense and illuminating, Kristina says, she often leaves campus a little limp—in a good way. “Every teacher I’ve had taps an enormous pool of wisdom and has astonishing insight into what I’m trying to accomplish and what the potential for a story is,” she says. “I’ve been bowled over by how much thought and analysis teachers put into every single thing I’ve handed in.” She’s also amazed by the encouragement she receives, both from teachers and fellow students—and how that’s helped her get over her fear of writing. “In every workshop, the emphasis is always on positive reinforcement and drawing the very best work out of every student,” she says.
Kristina is in the midst of working on her thesis, a memoir about the summer she spent in France with her aunt and cousin when she was 14.
Asked about the most important thing she’s gained as a student at Sarah Lawrence, Kristina answers that she has learned to be a better reader, both of her own writing and that of others, whether fellow students or established authors. “I hope I have also become a better questioner and a more careful observer of life and all the details that make it odd or sad or sublime or absurd,” she says. Her challenge is in finding the time to devote to writing her essays and short stories. Now that her youngest daughter is nearing driving age, she hopes that will change. “The writing is not getting done fast enough,” she admits, “but I treasure every minute of it.”
M.F.A. student, Fiction Writing, Sarah Lawrence (2001–present)
Kristina serves on the board of directors of the Lindbergh Foundation, whose programs promote a balance between technological innovation and environmental preservation, and is President of the Board of Directors of the Westchester Ballet Company, a pre-professional performance group based in Ossining.