I’m a writer, storyteller, mom, rock-wife, and Los Angeleno, by way of Jersey. I’m the New York Times bestselling author of the memoirs Everything You Ever Wanted, Some Girls: My Life in a Harem and the novel Pretty. Some Girls has been translated into 18 different languages and is currently being adapted for TV. I write a lot of essays and articles, some of which have been in The New York Times, The Paris Review, Vanity Fair, Los Angeles Magazine, Elle, The Daily Beast and Salon, among others. I speak and tell live stories, often with The Moth. Howard Stern interviewed me once and he was actually really nice! I did a Tedx talk about identity and adoption, in 2014 at Chapman University. I’m married to the musician Scott Shriner, and together we adopted our son Tariku from Ethiopia in 2009. We’ve slept a total of seven hours since.


I Write Books

I Blog

I See You / September 28, 2015

I had a number of meaningful conversations during the Jewish New Year festivities, but my favorite was at a break-the-fast gathering, where I met a lovely woman who had spent the last year working with traumatized female veterans. Trauma- one of my favorite subjects to learn about! Of course I cornered her and asked her […]


Shana Tova 5776! / September 25, 2015

We just got done celebrating the Jewish New Year. As an interfaith household with a great love for all the traditions in our crazy quilt, we celebrate many holidays. This is both totally exhausting–especially around Christmukkah and Eastover– and totally worth it. Celebrating different traditions allows not only for lots of parties, but also for […]


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.

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Upcoming Events

  1. Pen on Fire Speaker Series: Memoirists Jillian Lauren and Claire Bidwell Smith

    October 13 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  2. LitCrawl LA

    October 21 @ 7:00 pm - 7:45 pm
  3. Expressing Motherhood

    November 7 @ 7:00 pm - 7:30 pm
  4. Story & Soul Ojai Retreat

    February 25, 2016 @ 5:00 pm - February 28, 2016 @ 10:00 am
  5. Parenting in Space Conference: Keynote Speaker

    April 8, 2016 @ 1:00 pm - April 10, 2016 @ 5:00 pm