Why eleven? I was born in Kingston, New York, a town on the Hudson River, on 11/11/74 (7 + 4 = 11), eleven days early, at 12:26 pm (add it up...eleven).
The summer before I turned five, my parents moved to my grandmother's house in Bronxville, New York, a suburb 29 minutes by train to Grand Central Terminal. As an only child, I hung out a lot with my grandmother. She had run a Russian/ Ukrainian bar in the East Village; my memories of her magically delicious cooking helped inspire The Door By the Staircase.
I was the second shortest kid every year of elementary school. I was also the sickest kid, logging almost two months of absences in the sixth grade. These experiences were formative: I still have a fear of being picked up and tossed around. And I still love to lie in bed, milking a sickness, and reading.
My parents split up when I was ten, though for the sake of this list they should have waited till I was eleven.
Despite including Latin in all three of my books, I was actually a mediocre Latin student. An embarrassing translation error ended my Latin career in the ninth grade. If you have a Latin question for me, please make sure it involves declining the word "farmer" since I can't do much else.
I studied a lot of poetry at Yale. Upon graduation, however, I discovered that openings for poets were scarce and took a job teaching ninth and twelfth grade English at not just any Connecticut boarding school but my alma mater. I was only occasionally mistaken for a student.
In 1998, I moved to New York City to begin a career as a journalist. My first job was at Good Housekeeping, where I kept the messiest desk in the history of the magazine. I proudly continue to be extremely messy.
I spent two years writing for Rolling Stone though not about music (so please don't send me your garage band demos) but about kids and their lives across the country.
I met my husband on a blind date in New York City. In 2015, after thirteen years in Washington, D.C., we moved to Brussels, Belgium.
For almost five years, my day job was editing political journalism at The New Republic magazine. That makes me two for two working at magazines that were the subject of movies (Almost Famous and Shattered Glass).
I am the mother of two fabulous children and one fabulous cat, Egg, who helped inspire one of my favorite characters in The Door by the Staircase.