About me

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

I have come to my writing by way of my teaching. I became classroom teacher in 1986, the year I graduated college, and I have been teaching ever since—through marrying my husband, raising our four children, and completing my master’s and doctoral 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 I run an after-school language arts program for approximately 100 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.

My teaching takes up a lot of time, especially on certain days of the week, but I make an effort to work on my writing every single day. I’m now working on a biography of Socrates, and I’m considering Saint Augustine next. Contrary to what my writing projects might suggest, I do not have an extensive formal background in either philosophy or history. 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.