Elise is an agent at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. In addition to handling her own list, she oversees the daily operations of the SDLA office. She is most interested in well-written narrative non-fiction (particularly trade-friendly history, cultural studies, and science) as well as character-driven literary fiction for the adult market.
A graduate of Emerson College, Elise holds a BFA in Writing, Literature and Publishing. She has been with the Dijkstra Agency since 2003.
Elise is interested in fiction that has unforgettable writing, a distinctive narrative voice, and memorable characters. She loves novels with an unusual or eccentric edge and is drawn to stories she has never heard before. She aims to work with writers who are getting their work published regularly in literary magazines and who have a realistic sense of the market and their audience. Some of Elise's representative fiction titles include Tiphanie Yanique's Monster in the Middle (Riverhead), Land of Love and Drowning (Riverhead) and How to Escape from a Leper Colony (Graywolf); Howard A. Rodman’s The Great Eastern (Melville House); Courtney Brkic's The First Rule of Swimming (Little, Brown); Rachel Toor's On The Road to Find Out (FSG); Jonathon Keats' The Book of the Unknown (Random House); Rikki Ducornet's Netsuke (Coffee House Press); Maureen McHugh's After the Apocalypse (Small Beer Press), which was picked as a "Top 10 Best of the Year" by Publishers Weekly, and more.
On the non-fiction front, Elise is looking for fascinating true stories told in a compelling way. She is especially interested in working with up-and-coming scholars (particularly historians) who are looking to transition from the academic market to a trade readership, as well as journalists. Some of Elise's representative non-fiction titles include Cynthia Barnett’s The Sound of the Sea: Seashells and the Fate of the Oceans (Norton) and Rain: A Natural and Cultural History (Crown), which was long-listed for the National Book Award and the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award; Meera Subramanian's A River Runs Again: India’s Natural World in Crisis, from the Barren Cliffs of Rajasthan to the Farmlands of Karnataka (Public Affairs); Luis J. Rodriguez's From Our Land to Our Land: Essays, Journeys, and Imaginings from a Native Xicanx Writer (Seven Stories); Andrew Baker's To Poison a Nation: The Murder of Robert Charles and the Rise of Jim Crow Policing in America (New Press); Jack Shuler's This Is Ohio: The Overdose Crisis and the Front Lines of a New America (Counterpoint); Onaje X. O. Woodbine's Take Back What the Devil Stole: An African American Prophet's Encounters in the Spirit World (Columbia University Press); Tom Chaffin's Odyssey: Young Charles Darwin, The Beagle, and The Voyage that Changed the World (Pegasus); Jonathon Keats’s You Belong to the Universe: Buckminster Fuller and the Future (Oxford University Press); and more.
Please note that Elise is specifically not interested in: Young-adult/middle-grade, picture books, romance, fantasy, sci-fi, business books, cookbooks, poetry, religious/spiritual books, screenplays, or self-help. And while she will consider memoir, please note that she is very selective in this genre. (Two representative memoirs she has repped include The Tightening Dark: An American Hostage in Yemen by Sam Farran and Benjamin Buchholz (Hachette), and Jane Vandenburgh's The Wrong Dog Dream: A True Romance (Counterpoint).