Lisa Takeuchi Cullen
  • Lisa Takeuchi Cullen

  • Born: Kobe, Japan.

  • Description: I'm Lisa Takeuchi Cullen. I used to be a journalist. Now I make stuff up.

    In both fact and fiction I'm drawn to worlds I once knew little about. My debut novel, "Pastors' Wives" (Plume/Penguin 2013), is about three very different women married to pastors at a Southern evangelical megachurch--the kind with the Jumbotrons and the power band. It was inspired by an article I wrote while I was a staff writer for Time magazine. It's a 2013 summer reading pick! Also, Gretchen Rubin, bestselling author of "The Happiness Project," calls it "riveting, perceptive, and funny. Once you pick up this novel, you won't be able to put it down."

    My first book, "Remember Me: A Lively Tour of the New American Way of Death" (HarperCollins 2006), is about weird and wonderful funerals and burials. To report it, I crashed funerals for a year with my newborn on my back. It was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. Also? Mary Roach ("Stiff") called it "a must-read for anyone who plans on dying."

    I write TV pilots too. In 2013 I wrote and produced a drama for CBS called "The Ordained," about a priest who quits when he hears a confession about a deadly plot against his politician sister. It starred Sam Neill, Hope Davis, Audra McDonald, Jorge Garcia and Charlie Cox, and it was awesome. Really, it was. But it didn't make CBS's fall line-up. I blog about this and other humiliating episodes from the life of a writer at, I was a staff writer at Time, and before that, its Tokyo correspondent. I have degrees from Columbia and Rutgers. I was born and raised in Kobe, Japan, home of the overpriced beef and apparent namesake of a basketball star. Now I live in New Jersey with my family. I love my adoptive home state, and if you insult it I will fight you. Please visit my website at, my Facebook author page at, and/or follow me on Twitter I'd be delighted to meet you.