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Photo by Irene Young


Dr. Lester is the author of six critically acclaimed books. Her writing has appeared in The New York TimesUSA Today, CNN, Ebony, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, Black Issues Book Review, Ms., Cosmopolitan, Common Dreams, and Huffington Post, among others.


Her memoir Loving Before Loving: A Marriage in Black and White was a Finalist for the Northern California Book Award, Story Circle Sarton Award, and the Foreword Indie Award. It won the Montaigne Medal for the Eric Hoffer Awards and the PEN-Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award. 


Recognitions include the NLGJA Siegenthaler Award for NPR Commentary, Finalist for the PEN/Bellweather Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction (Mama's Child), and the Arts & Letters Creative Nonfiction Finalist Award for her Fannie Lou Hamer essay (adapted in her blog). 


The San Francisco's Women's Heritage Museum selected Taking Charge as a Best Women's Book. Amazon honored Taking Charge in its "10 Best Business Books for Women" and the Washington Post included Fire In My Soul in its top-listed, "What Washingtonians are Reading." 


Her books have been excerpted in Essence, Black Issues in Higher Education, Ebony, Executive Female, and other anthologies.


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Winner of PEN-Oakland

Josephine Miles Literary Award 



Northern California Book Award 


"With its novelistic detail and earnest but imperfect characters, this memoir reveals more than most about what makes activists tick. A frank love story set amid the ideals of the 1960s."
Kirkus Reviews


"Exceptional. It is a real challenge to write a memoir that is intellectually deep, psychologically sophisticated, and politically principaled that is also engaging, accessible, funny, and tender. What a remarkable ride."

Becky Thompson, author of A Way of Life


2022 Finalist








"This book is the real deal, the way it was. I love it! Bravo!" 

Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple



















"Mama's Child is a deeply felt novel of a daughter on a quest for selfhood and a mother striving to come back to her own. Through alternating perspectives, Lester sensitively illuminates the challenges of living in a world still viewed through the filter of race...awakening through a historic social movement." 





"Powerhouse novel!" 

Ebony Editor's Pick







"The simple contrapuntal narrative…distinguishes the book emotionally and psychologically, raising it above other issue-oriented…novels. Lester writes with social sensitivity and an ear for teen language and concerns. This is engaging treatment of a challenging subject that comes with little precedent."

Publisher's Weekly Starred Review



"Teens will be caught by the alternating stories."




"The tenderness and truth of this book moved my heart."

Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple





Foreword by Coretta Scott King



"A rip-roaring political biography."

San Francisco Chronicle 




"Lester's thorough portrait is a compelling and inspiring homage to a legacy still in progress."

Publisher's Weekly 



"Lester captures this story brilliantly."










"Shines in its practical strategies for women."

Publishers Weekly



"Lester's tome of 'feminist coping strategies,' peppered with humorous, helpful anecdotes, provides a lively jump-start to goal setting and attaining."



 "Welcomed in the corporate arena as well as in personal life."








"In its chatty, no-nonsense way, puts all the taboos on the table...it's tricky territory, but in Lester's hands, the paths are clear."

San Francisco Chronicle



"A warm, inviting book by a diversity consultant that doesn't toe the political party lines."

Orange County Register



"Whether you are an African Caribbean lesbian living in Kansas City, or a white, heterosexual man living on Long Island, you can learn from this book."