About me

I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to talk with a number of fascinating people about my writing.

meI came to my writing by way of teaching. I became classroom teacher in 1986, the year I graduated college, and although I have dramatically reduced my teaching load in recent years, I have worked in the classroom ever since—through marrying my husband, raising our four children, and completing my graduate degrees. I have taught tiny kids in preschool, senior citizens in continuing education, and just about every age group in between, although I like high school teaching best; my subject has been mostly English, but mainly what I hope I teach is a lifelong passion for learning. In my writing I’m trying to do outside my classroom what I’ve always tried to do inside my classroom.

I was born in New York City; grew up partly there and partly in Dallas, Texas; and now live in Ra’anana, Israel, a town just north of Tel Aviv, where for two decades I ran an after-school language arts program for native English speakers in first through twelfth grades. I have fond memories of my own education. I especially loved my undergraduate years at Yale, where I majored in French. Eventually I also earned a master’s in English from Georgetown and a doctorate in education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Along the way I completed graduate-level but non-degree work in Jewish studies.

I still teach a few private students, and I do editing and translating, mostly for doctoral students who keep me on my toes with their wide range of interests. I make an effort to write every single day. I’m now working on a biography of Augustine of Hippo, and coming next is a biography of Hannah Arendt; both will be part of Triangle Square’s Philosophy for Young People series. Despite what my writing projects might suggest, I do not have an extensive formal background in either philosophy or history, though I certainly took courses in both areas while I was in college. Thank goodness for books and learned friends! I like to think that my belated explorations help me write more effectively for my young readers: I haven’t forgotten what it’s like to be a newcomer to difficult material.