Professor Lisa Orr, Ph.D.
In Lisa Orr’s historical novel, The Adventuress, the daughter of a free black man and an Irish immigrant moves up the social ladder by passing as white in Civil War-era New York.
Advance praise for Lisa Orr’s The Adventuress:
"Verena Green, the daughter of a free black father and an Irish immigrant mother, barely survives the New York Draft Riots of 1863, and is cast adrift in a city where bigotry is rampant and slavery still legal.
"Like Thackeray’s Becky Sharpe and Wharton’s Undine Spragg, Verena is an indomitable anti-heroine of wit and grit, an avaricious schemer willing to do whatever it takes - including abandoning all hope of love and family by crossing the color line - to triumph in a ruthless and hypocritical society.
"Lisa Orr’s The Adventuress is a richly imagined and compelling historical novel that shines an unusual light into some of the darker corners of a tumultuous epoch of American history."
-- Valerie Martin, author of ten books, including the Orange Prize-winning Property and The Ghost of the Mary Celeste.
“The Adventuress is smart, entertaining, well-researched and addictive— everything I want from historical fiction. Verena Green is a brilliant protagonist, and Lisa Orr masterfully steers her through the vividly recreated ethnic complexities of mid-19th century America.”
— David Liss, author of New York Times Notable Book A Conspiracy of Paper and The Twelfth Enchantment.
“Lisa Orr’s Adventuress is a bold and willful 19th century heroine every 21st century reader will love. Verena Green is scarred by fear and loss, but knows no bounds to her ambition. Orr has conjured the world of Civil War New York City, the Draft Riots, the Tenderloin, the railroad barons, labor unrest, racism, bigotry and chicanery—and Verena traipses nimbly through this dramatic world, from stage actress to spiritualist, from white Irish to newly-freed African Americans. Orr has captured the tumult and contradictions of the period with accuracy, depth, and sensitivity. If you love historical fiction, you will love The Adventuress.”
— Taylor M. Polites, author of The Rebel Wife
Transforming American Realism: Working-Class Women Writers of the Twentieth Century is available at University Press of America or Amazon.
Essays: Orr, Lisa. “The Real Reasons Why Low-Income Students Don’t Apply to Elite Universities.” The Huffington Post. Online. 31 August 2016. Available at www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-real-reasons-why-low-income-students-dont-apply_us_57c6c563e4b0b9c5b7360446
Orr, Lisa. “Corrective Genealogy for White People.” The Huffington Post. Online. 10 June 2016. Available at www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/corrective-genealogy-for-white-people_us_575ab77be4b0b6c496008de4
Orr, Lisa. “Don’t Blame the Working Class.” The Huffington Post. Online. 16 May 2016. Available at www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/dont-blame-the-working-class_us_573a2a03e4b06dede18b986a#comments
Orr, Lisa. “New York’s Mixed-Race Riot.” The New York Times. Online. 15 July 2013. Available at http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/15/new-yorks-mixed-race-riot/.
Review of What America Read: Taste, Class, and the Novel 1920-1960, by Gordon Hutner. South Atlantic Review 76.3. (2011): 193-95.
“Theorizing the Earth: Feminist Approaches to Nature and Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony.” Reprinted in Gathering Native Scholars: UCLA's Forty Years of American Indian Culture and Research. Ed. Kenneth Lincoln. Los Angeles: UCLA American Indian Studies Center, 2009.
"'Difference that Is Actually Sameness Mass-Reproduced': Barbie Joins the Princess Convergence.” Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures 1.1 (2009): 9-30.
"'People Who Might Have Been You': Agency and the Damaged Self in Tillie Olsen's Yonnondio" and "Stories from a Working-Class Childhood.” Reprinted in What We Hold in Common: An Introduction to Working-Class Studies. New York: Feminist Press, 2001.
"'Cotton Patch Strumpets' and Masculine Women: Performing Classed Genders.” Race, Gender and Class 7.1 (2000): 23-42.
Introduction. Working-Class Lives and Cultures: Critical and Pedagogical Essays, Memoir, and Poetry. Special issue of Women’s Studies Quarterly 26.1-2 (1998): 4-12.
“In Memory of Constance Coiner: A ‘Foremother’ of Contemporary Working-Class Studies.” Working-Class Lives and Cultures: Critical and Pedagogical Essays, Memoir, and Poetry. Special issue of Women’s Studies Quarterly 26.1-2 (1998): 255-56.
Rev. of Questions of Cultural Identity, ed. Stuart Hall and Paul du Gay, and Doing Cultural Studies: The Story of the Sony Walkman, ed. Paul du Gay, et al. Electronic Book Review. Online. November 1997.
"'People Who Might Have Been You': Agency and the Damaged Self in Tillie Olsen's Yonnondio.” Spec. issue on Working-Class Studies of Women's Studies Quarterly 23.1-2 (1995): 219-228
"Theorizing the Earth: Feminist Approaches to Nature and Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony.” American Indian Culture and Research Journal 18.2 (1994): 145-157.
"Stories from a Working-Class Childhood." Spec. issue on Working-Class Studies of Women's Studies Quarterly 23.1-2 (1995): 16-18.
Christopher, Renny, Lisa Orr, and Linda Strom, eds. Working-Class Lives and Cultures: Critical and Pedagogical Essays, Memoir, and Poetry. Special issue of Women’s Studies Quarterly 26.1-2 (1998).
Editor, The Homeless: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1990.
Editor, Censorship: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1990.
Editor, Sexual Values: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1989.
Freelance Feature writer, Syracuse New Times, 1987-88
Special Correspondent, Auburn (NY) Citizen, 1988