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Revel HQ
August 6, 2021

How She Revels: Lisa Leshne

I’ve basically spent my entire career working with writers, photographers, and artists.

I can’t believe in only two more years I won’t have a child at home.

Photo by Deborah Copaken

Name: Lisa Leshne
New York City

What do you do for work?

I’m a literary agent, so I have the privilege of representing authors and helping them put their books out into the world. It’s incredibly gratifying. Before I worked in book publishing, I was in the newspaper business for over 20 years, starting when I was 22 and co-founded The Prague Post, an English-language newspaper based in Czechoslovakia, before it split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. I’ve basically spent my entire career working with writers, photographers, and artists. I enjoy collaborating with creative people and focusing on the business side so they can put all their energy into their craft and content. I also get to meet so many interesting people and am constantly learning new things so it’s never boring.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Chocolate, most definitely, but I refuse to feel guilty about it!

Last Google search?

Red party supplies! I’m hosting a party mid-August for my dear friend and author Deborah Copaken for the launch of her book LADYPARTS, and the cover is a red image of woman in a superhero stance, with her body parts labeled like the game of operation or a piece of meat at a butcher shop. It’s a darkly funny and poignant memoir of what it’s like to be a woman when your body is falling apart, while navigating all the trials and tribulations that come with middle-aged life. I am in awe of Deb’s writing and can’t wait to celebrate her.

Who do you most admire, and why?

Stacey Abrams, because she saved Democracy. The work she has done with FAIR FIGHT ACTION to combat voter suppression and register new voters made all the difference in the last presidential election, as well as making sure Democrats took control of the senate. She’s absolute proof positive that one person can change the world. What a lot of people don’t know about Stacey is that she’s also a serial entrepreneur, and a very successful one at that. She and her business partner of 17-years, Lara Hodgson, along with journalist Heather Cabot, are working on a book I represent and sold to Penguin Portfolio for publication early next year. It's called LEVEL UP, and is a must-read guide for small business owners to succeed by navigating a critical turning point: when you either level up or give up. Getting to work with Stacey to bring this book to life is a huge honor.

Last great book you’ve read?

I was incredibly moved by Sherry Turkle’s The Empathy Diaries. I first became aware of Turkle’s work on the intersection of emotions and technology when I was an undergraduate majoring in sociology. This book is a memoir and she writes beautifully about her childhood, family secrets, her complicated relationship with her mother, Paris, philosophy, food and love.

Of what are you most proud, and why?

My children, Max and Mia. They are both amazing humans. Max is 18 and about to go away to college at the University of Michigan in their honors program. He’s a huge history buff and I’m constantly blown away by how much he knows about the world and how much I can learn from him. Mia is 16 and will be a high school junior. She’s super kind, empathic, intelligent, and an athlete, playing on her school’s soccer, basketball and tennis teams. The pandemic was tough on both of them, having to be cooped up with their parents 24/7, but they managed to make the best of it. I feel incredibly lucky to be their mom. I can’t believe that in only two more years my husband Jerry and I will be empty nesters. I’m counting on Luna May, our rescue dog who is a hound/husky/lab mix, to keep us on our toes.

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