Partner Julie Weber
Michigan State University, 220 Trowbridge Rd, East Lansing, MI 48824, Stati Uniti
Alma Routsong (November 26, 1924 – October 4, 1996) was an American novelist best known for her lesbian fiction, published under the pen name Isabel Miller.
Alma Routsong was born in Traverse City, Michigan on November 26, 1924 to Carl and Esther Miller Routsong. Her father was a police sergeant, and her mother was a nurse. She had an older brother Richard, and a younger brother Gary. During World War II she served in the WAVES, training at the Farragut, Idaho Naval Training Center, and then worked as a hospital apprentice. She graduated from Michigan State University in 1949 with a degree in art.
Alma married Bruce Brodie in 1947 and they had four daughters; Natalie (1949), Joyce (1952), Charlotte (1954), and Louise (1958). Brodie and Routsong divorced in 1961.
Routsong's first two novels were published under her own name, with the later works under the pen name Isabel Miller, a combination of an anagram of "Lesbia" and her mother's maiden name. Between 1968 and 1971 she worked as an editor at Columbia University. From the mid-1970s until 1986 she was a proofreader for Time Magazine. In 1971 the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table created the first award for GLBT books, the Stonewall Book Award, which celebrates books of exceptional merit that relate to LGBT issues. Patience and Sarah by Routsong (pen name Isabel Miller) was the first winner. Patience and Sarah details the Boston marriage of Mary Ann Willson and Miss Brundage (or Brundidge), who lived on a New York farm together in the early 19th century.
Routsong was an officer in the New York chapter of Daughters of Bilitis and she was arrested during a DOB police raid.
The bottom line for Alma Routsong was home, sharing a home with another woman where life is peaceful, ordinary and full of creative work, good food, conversation and friends. Her books reflected her life. For the last 18 and a half years, Routsong had made a home with Julie Weber, multimedia artist, musician and teacher, in a big old house in Poughkeepsie, New York. Their house was a work in progress. When Routsong was not writing, she refinished furniture laboriously and beautifully. She was a prolific carpenter; her last major job was reworking the front porch. She fixed windows and sashes, stripped frames and doors. In the evenings she would read Julie to sleep. Together they read biographies of women, the Bible, May Swenson, Edward Field, Robert Frost and The Illustrated Science and Invention Encyclopedia.
Alma Routsong died in Poughkeepsie, New York on October 4, 1996, aged 71.
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