Skip to main content Skip to main navigation

Heather Lewis Papers

Call Number



ca. 1965-2002, inclusive


Lewis, Heather


13 Linear Feet
(15 boxes)

Language of Materials

English .


The Heather Lewis Papers reflect Heather Lewis's writing career including her manuscripts, publishing contracts, correspondence and financial information. In addition, the collection includes a great deal of information relating to Heather Lewis's personal life including journals, photographs, and personal correspondence. The collection reflects the connections between Lewis's career as a writer and her personal life and presents the author as a complex whole.

Biographical Note

Heather Lewis was born in Bedford, New York and attended Sarah Lawrence College. She is the author of three published novels. The first, House Rules (1994), details the experiences of a fifteen year old girl working as a show rider of horses-an experience the author herself had in her teenage years. Lewis's second novel, The Second Suspect (1998), follows the struggles of a female police investigator trying to prove the guilt of a powerful and influential businessman responsible for the rape and murder of several young women. The third, posthumously published novel, Notice (2004), describes the experiences of a young prostitute, Nina and her involvement with a sadist and his wife. Her works explore aspects of American culture, such as the connections between power, drugs, sex, violence, love and justice. Through these themes, Heather Lewis draws the reader into questioning the nature of love and relationships, the character of human nature or motivation and, most challengingly, the boundary between pleasure and pain. Significantly, the novels present strong, yet vulnerable female characters offering an alternative to more typical American narrative constructions driven by male protagonists within male-dominated scenes.

Heather Lewis taught at the Writer's Voice and contributed to various anthologies of literature including Best Lesbian Erotica (1996, 1997), Once Upon a Time: Erotic Fairy Tales for Women (1996), and A Woman Like That: Lesbian and Bisexual Writers Tell Their Coming Out Stories (1999). The collection also includes work by Allan Gurganus, Dale Peck, Mike Corrigan, Margaret Au, as well as shorter pieces by Sarah Schulman, Meg Daly, and others. Heather Lewis returned to New York in the fall of 2001, after a year in Arizona. She ended her life in May of 2002, in New York.


Memorial service program: St. Mark's Church, New York, NY, June 12, 2002.

"Pain and Perfection" (Anonymous). The Advocate; Los Angeles, June 11, 2002.


The collection consists of fourteen series.

The material is arranged both chronologically and alphabetically.

  1. Series I: Journals
  2. Series II: Author and Artist Files
  3. Series III: House Rules
  4. Series IV: Second Suspect
  5. Series V: Notice
  6. Series VI: Other Writing
  7. Series VII: Personal Correspondence and Biographical Material
  8. Series VIII: Administrative Materials
  9. Series IX: Research
  10. Series X: Images
  11. Series XI: Juvenilia
  12. Series XII: Printed Materials
  13. Series XIII: Objects and Artifacts
  14. Series IV: Media
  15. Oversize - Series I: Journals
  16. Oversize - Series III.E: House Rules - Publicity Materials
  17. Oversize - Series IV.A: Second Suspect - Manuscripts
  18. Oversize - Series VI.D: Other Writing - Essays, Letters
  19. Oversize - Series VIII.F: Administrative Materials - Administrative Correspondence
  20. Oversize - Series IX.B: Research - Subject Files
  21. Oversize - Series X.A: Images - Photographs
  22. Oversize - Series X.C: Images - Other Images
  23. Oversize - Series XII: Printed Materials

Scope and Content Note

The Heather Lewis Papers include materials relating to Heather Lewis's career as an author. The materials include journals, photographs and correspondence as well as manuscripts and research. In addition the collection contains financial documents and materials related to the publishing of her novels. The materials span 1965-2002, however the bulk of the materials are from the 1980s and 1990s.

Series I: Journals contains Heather Lewis's personal journals. These materials are arranged chronologically.

Series II: Author Files is divided into two subseries. Subseries A includes Heather Lewis's author information such as literary press and event information. This series only includes information not associated with her books. For publicity about Heather Lewis's novels please see Series II, III and IV. Subseries B contains information on other authors and artists including event publicity as well as art and literary pieces. These materials are arranged alphabetically by the author or artist's last name.

Series III: House Rules is divided into five subseries. Subseries A includes manuscripts for Gambler's Choice, which was an early draft form of House Rules. Subseries B contains manuscripts for Sixty-Forty, another early title for House Rules. Subseries C includes House Rules manuscripts and drafts. Subseries C holds publishing information for the novel House Rules. Finally, Subseries E includes publicity information. Materials are arranged alphabetically.

Series IV: The Second Suspect contains materials related to the writing and publication of Heather Lewis's second novel. The series is divided into three subseries. Subseries A includes manuscripts and drafts. Subseries B contains publication materials. Subseries C includes publicity materials such as reviews and advertisements. Materials are arranged alphabetically.

Series V: Notice contains manuscript materials related to Heather Lewis's novel Notice. Lewis wrote this book after House Rules but could not find a publisher. Notice was published posthumously by Serpent's Tail in 2004.

Series VI: Other Writing includes Heather Lewis's other writing projects and is broken into five subseries. Subseries A contains short stories. Subseries B includes Lewis's writing from Sarah Lawrence College, particularly research papers. Subseries C contains poetry. Subseries D includes essays Lewis wrote as an adult and public letters. Subseries E: Miscellaneous includes a short paper on Martin Luther King Jr. from an unknown time period and chapters from a possible fourth novel featuring Detective Reese. These materials are in chronological order where possible. Remaining materials are in alphabetical order.

Series VII: Personal Correspondence and Biographical Materials is broken into four subseries. Subseries A contains letters from Heather Lewis organized alphabetically by the last name of the addressee. Subseries B contains letters to Heather Lewis where the first and last name of the sender is known. These materials are in alphabetical order by the sender's last name. Subseries C contains letters to Heather Lewis from senders who only included their first name. Materials are in alphabetical order. Subseries D includes letters to other people from other people, for example a letter to Allen Gurganus from Malaga Baldi. Finally, Subseries E includes biographical materials related to Heather Lewis's life. Again, these materials are in alphabetical order by recipient's last name.

Series VIII: Administrative Materials is broken into eleven subseries. Subseries A contains contracts for books and contributions arranged in chronological order.Subseries B includes royalty statements arranged in chronological order. Subseries C includes author photographs, some of Heather Lewis and some of other authors arranged alphabetically. Subseries D contains tax information arranged chronologically. Subseries E includes accounting, bills, and statements from credit card companies, banks and other financial institutions. These materials are arranged chronolocially. Subseries F holds administrative correspondence including letters from publishers, agents, and fans. These materials are arranged alphabetically. Subseries G incorporates calendars and contacts such as day planners, business cards and phone lists. The subseries is arranged in chronological order. Subseries H includes resumes, applications, and calls for papers arranged in alphabetical order. Subseries I holds materials related to Lewis's work instructing writing workshops. Materials are arranged chronologically. Subseries J includes promotional and journalistic materials on publishers arranged alphabetically. Suberies K holds miscellaneous items.

Series IX: Research includes two subseries. Subseries A contains notes. Subseries B contains subject files organized in alphabetical order.

Series X: Images includes three subseries. Subseries A: photographs, some with matching negatives includes candid, personal photographs of family, events, landscapes and friends. Where possible, the photographs and negatives are matched. These materials are arranged chronologically where possible, remaining materials are organized alphabetically. Subseries B: Unmatched Negatives holds negatives for which we have no prints. These materials are arranged alphabetically by content. Subseries C: Other Images contains an unsigned drawing.

Series XI: Juvenilia contains materials from Heather Lewis's childhood including yearbooks, school writing journals and children's literature. Materials are arranged chronologically where possible.

Series XII: Printed Material includes printed materials such as film posters, tourism pamphlets, maps and owner's manuals. Materials are arranged alphabetically.

Series XIII: Objects and Artifacts includes objects such as a trophy, library card, and pen. All of these items are located in Box 13 except the red leather datebook

Series XIV: Media contains two subseries. Subseries A includes 3.5 inch floppy disks. Subseries B includes all other media including 5.25 inch floppy disks, compact disks and Heather Lewis's laptop computer.

Oversize: there is one box of oversize materials at the end of the collection containing oversize materials from each of the series.

Access Restrictions

Materials are open to researchers. Please contact the Fales Library and Special Collections,, 212-998-2596.

Use Restrictions

Copyright (or related rights to publicity and privacy) for materials in this collection was not transferred to New York University. Permission to use materials must be secured from the copyright holder. Please contact the Fales Library and Special Collections,, 212-998-2596.

Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date (if known); Heather Lewis Collection; MSS 132; [box number]; [folder number]; Fales Library and Special Collections, New York University.


Ann Rower donated The Heather Lewis Papers to the Fales Library and Special Collections in January 2003.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Audiovisual and born-digital materials have not been preserved and may not be available to researchers.

Separated Material

The following items have been removed from The Heather Lewis Papers and moved to the Fales Library's Downtown Book Collection. The items have been catalogued individually in Bobcat, NYU's online catalog.

Lewis, Heather. De Regels Van Het Spel [House Rules] Uitgeverij Anthos, Amsterdam. 1997.

Lewis, Heather. Drugi Podejrzany [The Second Suspect] Warszawa, 2001.

Lewis, Heather. Drugi Podejrzany [The Second Suspect] Warszawa, 2000.

Lewis, Heather. The Second Suspect. London: Piatkus, 1998.

Related Material at Fales Library and Special Collections

Serpent's Tail/ High Risk Books Archive (MSS.086)

Collection processed by

Processed by Alex Caamano, 2003, and Jessica Shimmin, 2005.

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2024-02-16 14:59:31 -0500.
Language: Description is in English.

Revisions to this Guide

February 2024: Updated by Anna Björnsson McCormick to reflect the rehousing of materials


Fales Library and Special Collections
Fales Library and Special Collections
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012