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Eleven Fun Facts About Me
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 that many years later became the Life Café, the bohemian gathering place immortalized in the musical Rent.
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 2002, we moved to Washington, D.C., where we still live today. 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 small children and two large cats, Egg and Scotty.
A powerful and romantic historical novel based on the true story of the world famous astronomer Tycho Brahe. Fifteen year Jepp, born a dwarf but untroubled about his size in his loving home, is taken to the court of the Spanish Infanta. Here, amongst the glitter of court life, Jepp falls in love and discovers the sinister lifestyle behind the glamour. To survive and to win the woman he loves, he must take control of his own destiny and defy the stars which predict a different future for him.
Fate-is it written in the stars from the moment we are born, or is it a bendable thing that we can shape with our own hands? Jepp of Astraveld needs to know. He left his countryside home on the empty promise of a stranger, only to become a captive in the strange, luxurious prison that is Coudenberg Palace, the royal court of the Spanish infanta. Nobody warned Jepp that, as a court dwarf, daily injustices would become his seemingly unshakeable fate. If the humiliations were his alone, perhaps he could endure them, but it breaks Jepp's heart to see his friend Lia suffer. After Jepp and Lia perform a daring escape from the palace, Jepp is imprisoned again, alone in a cage. Now, spirited across Europe by a kidnapper in a horse-drawn carriage, Jepp is unsure where his unfortunate stars may lead him. Before Jepp can become the master of his own destiny, he will need to prove himself to a brilliant and eccentric new master-a man devoted to uncovering the secrets of the stars-earn the love of a girl brave and true, and unearth the long-buried secrets of his parentage. He will find that beneath the breathtaking cruelty of the world is something else: the persistence of human kindness. Masterfully written, grippingly paced, and inspired by real historical characters, Jepp, Who Defied the Stars is an awe-inspiring story of triumph in the face of unimaginable odds.