“L” is for Lott, Robert Bretley [b. 1958]. Author, educator. A native of California, Lott received his MFA from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Though reared in California, he considers himself a Southerner: “My family is from East Texas and Mississippi—I grew up drinking sweet tea….” In 1986 he became writer-in-residence at the College of Charleston. He began publishing his short stories in 1983—and his fiction and essays have appeared in dozens of literary journals. The primary focus of his writing lies within the homes and hearts of middle-class Americans, average people leading average lives, seeking happiness, and struggling against despair. Jewel, his most acclaimed novel, has been translate into a half-dozen languages and was an Oprah Book Club selection. Robert Bretley Lott directed the Charleston Writers’ Conference from 1989 to 1994.