I was born in New York City, an only child. I was a sick kid, always home with asthma, and books became my solace. I consumed them, along with chocolate chip cookies, one right after the other, and at the same time developed a deep love for those black and white movies of the 1940s.
As a teenager, I studied drama at the High School of Performing Arts in New York City. At age 16, I won a scholarship to Swarthmore College, where I majored in Comparative Religion and minored in Black Anthropology. I later studied at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, to earn a master’s degree.
I worked for The Associated Press in Arkansas; Washington, DC; and New York. I also wrote for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc., (RFE) in Munich. I was on hand to witness the political as well as physical eradication of the Berlin Wall. Eventually, RFE/RL moved its operations to Prague, laying off most of its Munich staff. I remained in Munich with my family, working as a freelance book editor, and doing cultural reporting and voice work for European publications.