Toinette Lippe had a long and distinguished career in publishing, as both editor and reprint rights director at Alfred A. Knopf. In 1989 she founded the imprint Bell Tower especially for "spiritually useful" books of all traditions. She is the author of Nothing Left Over
, a memoir about living life with joy and passion while divesting oneself of material and mental clutter, and Caught in the Act
, a book halfway between essay and journal that offers insights into Toinette's own journey of becoming aware of the inner and outer worlds and not identifying with thoughts, events, and situations, which are always changing.
Toinette is an avid gardener, as can be appreciated when one walks by the small, exquisite section of the community garden in Riverside Park, New York City that she lovingly and carefully tends. Her appreciation of flowers is also seen in her brush paintings, some of which have been included here as "Toinette's Garden." East Asian brush painting aims to capture in a few vibrant brushstrokes the essence of the artist's observation, using water colors, sumi-e ink, brushes of rabbit, badger, and horse hair, and thin porous "rice" paper (which is not actually made from rice but other fibers).