Harriet Scott Chessman is a fiction writer and librettist living in Connecticut. Her new opera, Sycorax, created in collaboration with Austrian composer Georg Friedrich Haas, had its world premiere at Buehnen Bern Theater in Bern, Switzerland, in 2022.
Her opera MY LAI, with music composed by Jonathan Berger, was commissioned by Kronos Performing Arts Association. Performed by Kronos Quartet, Van-Anh Vo, and Rinde Eckert, this one-person-opera has appeared at Stanford University, the Harris Theater in Chicago, Singapore, New York City (BAM), University of Iowa, UC Berkeley, and UCLA. On April 23, 2022, a concert version was performed at Carnegie Hall.
Harriet is the author of five acclaimed novels, including The Beauty of Ordinary Things, The Lost Sketchbook of Edgar Degas, Someone Not Really Her Mother, Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper, and Ohio Angels. Her fiction has been translated into seven languages, and featured in The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, NPR’s All Things Considered, Good Morning America, and The Christian Science Monitor.
Having received her PhD. in English at Yale University in 1979, Harriet taught at Yale for eleven years. She has also taught English and creative writing courses at Bread Loaf School of English, Wesleyan University’s Graduate Liberal Studies Program, and Stanford University’s Continuing Studies Program. After living for many years in the San Francisco Bay Area, she now lives in Connecticut, and is at work on new fiction and ideas for new musical pieces.