gayle brandeis

I grew up in Evanston, IL, directly across the street from Lake Michigan. Every morning, I would look out the window and stare at the vast expanse of water--it stretched as far as I could see, ending in the hazy line of the horizon. I know this gave me a sense of spaciousness that has affected my creative life deeply. It made me feel I had endless room to explore, to imagine. I spent a lot of time at the beach, picking up shells and sea glass and fish bones, looking closely at each span of sand, and I know this taught me to appreciate the particulars, the specifics, of the world, something that has also affected my life as a writer. When I moved out to California, it took me awhile to feel connected to the landscape. I missed the lake tremendously. I've grown to love our desert region, though, and find my work now continues to be inspired by the bougainvillea, the many varieties of palm trees, the citrus groves, even the smog.