I’m a writer, storyteller, mom, rock-wife, and Los Angeleno, by way of Jersey. I’m the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir Some Girls: My Life in a Harem, the novel Pretty, and the upcoming memoir Everything You Ever Wanted. (out May 5 from Plume/Penguin) I write essays and articles, some of which have been in The New York Times, The Paris Review, Vanity Fair, Los Angeles Magazine, Elle and Salon, among others.

I also speak and tell live stories, often with The Moth. Howard Stern interviewed me once and he was actually really nice! I’m married to the musician Scott Shriner, bass player for Weezer and total shredder. Together, we adopted our son Tariku from Ethiopia in 2009.

We’ve slept a total of seven hours since.


I Write Books

I Blog

Making Music Practice Less Annoying / April 23, 2015

Tariku loves music. He’s a terrific drummer and an even better dancer. But lately his music lessons have been becoming more and more of a pain, with whining and wheedling and foot-dragging and falling off the piano bench onto the floor once every 30 seconds. Even with Scott’s monk-like patience, it’s enough to make you […]


Shadow Puppets / April 17, 2015

Been slacking on the posts a bit, mostly because I’m having a challenging time balancing my upcoming book release with my mommy-ing… Add homeschooling Tariku’s stuffed animals, and my schedule is way overbooked. Here’s a picture of Tigey and Willie doing their math homework. Tariku is very serious about their education. He wrote out a […]


I Tell Stories

The Moth

Family Roots December 9, 2014
A woman finds an unexpected new family when she adopts a son, a bad soldier learns to write from personal loss, and a man is working at a nuclear power plant when disaster strikes.

The Prince and I, April 23, 2013
A woman boards a plane for Brunei in search of a modern day fairy tale.

More Stories...

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Upcoming Events

  1. L!VE TALKS, Los Angeles

    May 6 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
  2. LitFest Pasadena 2015

    May 9 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
  3. Mother Knows Best

    May 10 @ 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
  4. Mixer Reading Series

    May 13 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
  5. [words] Bookstore in Maplewood, NJ

    May 14 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm