Christine Andreae is a writer and artist who lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia where she and her architect husband hand-built their house and raised their two sons.
For the past two decades she has been active in the cause of land preservation. She currently chairs the board of directors of The Alliance for the Shenandoah Valley, an environmental advocacy group. She and her husband and committed neighbors have succeeded in creating a permanently protected wildlife corridor. The corridor consists of over 2,000 acres of private lands that connect the Shenandoah National Park to the George Washington National Forest. In 2011, Christine and her husband received an “Outstanding Conservation Farmer” award from the Lord Fairfax Soil and Water District, and in 2015, they were recognized as “Exemplary Forest Stewards” by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and the US Forest Service.
Her 2018 booklet, Innana’s Descent, is a poetic retelling of the Sumerian fertility goddess Inanna’s descent into the Underworld. It is illustrated with twenty of Christine’s woodcuts. Her blog on the story and images of the woodcuts are posted on this website on the Inanna project page. Her hand-made prints of the series have been shown at Sun Studio in Front Royal, Virginia, and at Linden Vineyards in Linden, Virginia.
Her 2017 memoir, Searching for a Sister Lost at Sea is a moving exploration of her father’s search for her youngest sister who disappeared in the Pacific in 1979. It is illustrated with family photos. For a look inside or to buy, please see http://christineandreae.com/searching-sister-lost-sea/.
Christine is also the author of four crime novels, all set in Montana where she and her family spent summer vacations hiking and riding in the backcountry. Her first mystery, Trail of Murder (1992, St. Martin’s Press), was nominated for an Edgar and began the series starring Lee Squires, a professor and poet from Washington, D.C., who moonlights as a camp cook in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Lee’s adventures continue in Grizzly (1994, SMP) and Small Target (l996, SMP). The series has been re-published as e-books by Speaking Volumes. https://speakingvolumes.us/
Her stand-alone novel, the critically acclaimed Smoke Eaters (2000, SMP) is set on a Western wildfire. Her redheaded heroine, Mattie McCullough, is an Incident Commander who combats wildfire, sexism, and a psychopathic killer. The thriller was a finalist for a Willa Award from Women Writing the West and was also named a Thriller of the Year by the Washington Post.
A committed community volunteer, in 1988 Christine co-founded a shelter for victims of domestic violence in Front Royal, Virginia. Between 1990 and 2000, she worked as a hospice patient care volunteer for Blue Ridge Hospice. In the hope of bringing the dying process out of the dark closet of fear into the light of day, she wrote about her experiences with her patients in When Evening Comes (SMP, 2000). Her memoir was a Library of Virginia Award finalist for 2001.
In 2004, she began studying botanical drawing and painting at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. She was a participating artist in the Corcoran’s 2006 show “The Botanical Treasures of Lewis and Clark”. She also was the organizer and a participating artist in the 2009 botanical art exhibit featuring native medicinal plants at the Thomas Jefferson Library at Monticello. The exhibit’s online catalog is part of the library’s permanent collection: www.monticello.org/library/exhibits/lucymarks/. In 2015, she organized and contributed watercolor paintings to the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley group show “Beauty in Botany.
Christine received her B.A. from Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY, and her M.A.T. from Yale University.