Elizabeth Claman

Elizabeth Claman

When Pigs Fly

My Journey of Resiliency, Forgiveness and Faith

A Memoir





Liz Claman is an accomplished author who has worked primarily as an educator and editor. She completed a PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of Oregon, where she taught French and Comparative Literature. She now divides her time between scholarly and creative pursuits, always trying to create bridges between the two.


When Pigs Fly: My Journey of Resiliency, Forgiveness and Faith is a memoir that is certain to inspire prospective poets, authors, and writers. It is a personal reflection of a unique life experience that succeeds despite the odds, in situations initially arising through serendipity and later by design.

Claman brings the reader along her journey from New York to California during the 1960s, while overcoming innumerable challenges through personal growth and resilient determination. Hers is a story that transforms near tragedy into triumph.

Widely acclaimed by her peers, this memoir breathes " beauty, healing, and integration." Claman is praised for having the courage to express her life story with unpretentious authenticity to a public audience.


Things We Do For Love explores the pursuit of love and affection from many different angles. Mastering the art of the short story, Elizabeth Claman treats us to 20 vignettes representing a full range of expression for this powerful and elusive emotion.

The publisher entices us with a taste of what the we should expect to find on these pages: stories that explore a wide range of relationships, from a mature woman inspired by a tree sitter and environmental activist, to the traveling salesman who becomes an object of affection by a lonely, isolated, rural resident.

Whether portraying a traditional relationship or one less common, these short fictions are sure to stimulate a spark of recognition which the reader will appreciate as having at least one shared human quality.


As an educator with a career spanning 30 years, Claman taught English, creative writing, art, comparative literature and French at many different levels. She is now retired from teaching and lives in Richmond, California, where she works full time as a writer and is currently at work on a volume of autobiographical vignettes.


In Heat Lightning, Elizabeth Claman's third novel, the lead character Sadie Stone gains resiliency, self-expression and independence while growing up amongst the 1950s California counterculture of artists, writers and radicals. These qualities help her to navigate through life and to contend with her passionate, unpredictable mother, Daisy.

As the story moves through progressively calamitous episodes, the novel explores the themes of overcoming emotional trauma and finding forgiveness. Violence strikes the deep bond between mother and daughter, driving a rift so intractable that its resolution takes longer than four decades and requires a journey half way around the world.

Narrated from the perspective of a daughter whose only point of reference is the Bohemian lifestyle of adults around her, Heat Lightning brings together an often humorous honesty with heartbreaking frustration as Sadie navigates through a tumultuous childhood.


Recent years have seen the publication of three novels by Elizabeth: The Prodigal Wife, Identity Blues, and Heat Lightning. Her first novel, The Prodigal Wife, is based on her experience working in Hollywood as a script reader, a film production assistant, a stylist for TV commercials, and as an actress and model.


Poetry is an integral part of Claman's published work. A collection of her poems was recently published under the title: Where the Women Are Flying. Elizabeth Claman's poetry and prose have appeared in many periodical reviews including: Mississippi Mud, Alaska Quarterly Review, River Styx, Hurricane Alice, Negative Capability, Bastard Review, Northwest Review, Two Girls Review, Silverfish Review, Fireweed, Many Mountains Moving, and Hubbub. Her work also appears the anthologies: Night Out (Milkweed Editions, 1997), and Women's Struggles, Women's Visions (Maude Kerns, 1993).


Elizabeth has served on the editorial board for both fiction and poetry at The Northwest Review. While completing an M.A. in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Oregon, she published a poetry chapbook Peripheral Visions, and was awarded the Grand Prize in the Eve of St. Agnes Poetry Competition judged by Diane Wakoski. In 1991 and 1994 Claman received two grants from Oregon Literary Arts. As the founder and editor of Queen Swords Press, she produced the literary anthologies: Each in Her Own Way, Writing Our Way Out of the Dark, Hard Love, and Passionate Lives.


An excerpt from the poem Snow published in Passionate Lives:

Across a virgin orchard,
still except our puffing breath
and crunch, crunch underfoot.
  Then deer.
A little herd fast by,
reaching up the trees for fruit,
frozen but still fragrant.
We stood entranced--a gift.


Kindle eBook Editions:

Heat Lightning: A Novel

Identity Blues: a novel

Where the Women Are Flying: new and selected poems

The Prodigal Wife

From amazon.com (USA):

When Pigs Fly: My Journey of Resiliency, Forgiveness and Faith

Things We Do For Love: 20 Short Fictions

Heat Lightning: A Novel

Identity Blues: a novel

Where the Women Are Flying: new and selected poems

The Prodigal Wife

Writing Our Way Out of the Dark : An Anthology by Child Abuse Survivors

Peripheral Visions

Each in Her Own Way : Women Writing on the Menopause and Other Aspects of Aging

Hard Love : Writings on Violence & Intimacy

Passionate Lives Eight Autobiographical Poems