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.

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I Write Books

I Blog

Massive Mom Fail / February 10, 2016

Does that look like a photo of a terrible mother to you? Friends, I yelled at my kids so badly yesterday. I was a monster. Oh, come on, you say. You’re exaggerating. Everyone yells. You were probably just like, Stop sticking pins in the dog! Or, Stop dangling your brother over the edge of that […]

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A Letter to my Son on his Seventh Gotcha Day / January 19, 2016

To Tariku on his Gotcha Day- I always love your Gotcha Day (remember when you used to call it your Cha Cha Day?), because it’s a chance for me to reflect on that pivotal trip to Africa daddy and I took seven years ago, when we first held you in our arms. I can still […]

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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.
http://themoth.org/posts/episodes/1425

The Prince and I, April 23, 2013
A woman boards a plane for Brunei in search of a modern day fairy tale.
http://themoth.org/posts/stories/the-prince-and-i

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