If you’re here for professional reasons, a very abbreviated educational c.v. is at the bottom.
If you’re here because you’re wondering who I am, this might be of interest. I’m a writer, the author or co-author of eleven books. I’ve had a hand in creating many more than that. I also write popular blogs for Psychology Today and Psych Central.
I never intended to become a writer; I only wanted to be a reader. I knew that during my childhood, growing up in a home with virtually no books except a few bestsellers people touted and Reader’s Digest Condensed. I learned to read before I was four and was the kid who couldn’t bear to return books to the library. I asked for books for my birthday and Christmas and, on Saturdays, my father would buy me a Nancy Drew or Bobbsey Twins book when we went grocery shopping. When I went to the Riverdale Country School for Girls, the library was where I felt happiest. Being an English major in college guaranteed my status as a reader. But then graduation loomed and there was the existential problem: Who pays you to be a reader? The only answer was graduate school which is what I did. I became a writer over twenty years ago pretty much by accident but I have fulfilled my childhood dream: I have spent my whole adult life reading.
I’m a first-generation American with two Dutch parents. That fact both broadened and narrowed my horizons by turns. I felt like an outsider growing up, not as “American” as everyone else I knew.
I was an only child until the age of nine.
I’m a Pisces. Make of that what you will.
I love to cook and bake but only for others. I love gardening but I’m second-rate because I can’t bear to cut anything back or sentence plants who fail to thrive to death. Great gardeners do all that and cultivate ruthlessness along with beautiful flowers.
I grew up a pretty girl who had to fight to get people to acknowledge her intelligence.
I’m a native New Yorker whose favorite city is Paris. I blab in French from time to time.
Education: University of Pennsylvania, BA with Honors in English, magna cum laude, 1969. Columbia University, M.A, with Honors in English. M. Phil.