Lisa Thaler is a Chicago-based author, book editor, and family historian, with special interests in health and wellness, memoir, the immigrant experience, and art history. She excels in developmental editing of non-fiction works—helping authors define intention, perfect structural integrity and flow, and arrive at truths with clarity and grace. For over thirty years, Lisa has guided dozens of writers to realize their vision—from books, articles, and tributes to website content and marketing copy. Many efforts have garnered awards, including Jacqueline Saper's From Miniskirt to Hijab: A Girl in Revolutionary Iran (Potomac Books, 2019), 2020 Book of the Year Award for Traditional Nonfiction from the Chicago Writers Association.
Lisa has published her own research and reviews in scholarly journals and popular press (including Stammbaum, Avotaynu, Shemot, and Yoga Chicago) and has lectured internationally on research methodology. She is the author of eight books, each the culmination of rigorous primary research and genre-bending organization and writing. Her meticulous, commissioned Enduring Legacies (1998, 536 pp.), the genealogy of the Bruce Heyman–Vicki Simons family, moves backward in time through a series of ancestral love stories. The book was included in an exhibition on Chicago roots at the Spertus Institute. Lisa's biography Look Up: The Life and Art of Sacha Kolin (Midmarch Arts, 2008, 488 pp.) reconstructs a peripatetic stranger's life story through her abstract art and the detritus left behind, as well as from hundreds of interviews with her family, friends, collectors, creditors, and doctors. Look Up received a starred and boxed review in Booklist and a Print Regional Design Award. Lisa's ninth book, now in edits, is a hybrid meditation-memoir that re-casts the four archetypes of Patanjali's sutra 1.33 (Keys to Peace)—the happy, the suffering, the rapturous, and the wicked—as actors in a personal narrative of reconciliation.
Lisa earned a certificate in editing from the University of Chicago Graham School, an MBA in statistics and finance from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and a BA in mathematics and art from Sarah Lawrence College. She spent her junior year abroad at the London School of Economics.