A New Englander by birth, I moved to Northern Virginia and then kept wandering farther south, to Chapel Hill, North Carolina and New Orleans. As a child I loved music and studied piano seriously. But besides playing classical pieces, as a soloist or in chamber music ensembles, I came to love the unique tonalities and rhythms of Turkish, Bulgarian, and Yugoslav music and the dances they inspired. Anna shares this love.
I also had an addiction to books and studied languages to read my favorites in the original: French, Spanish, and Latin in high school, Russian and Greek in college and graduate school. This foundation made picking up other tongues much easier.
My degree in History and love of literature led me to a PhD in Comparative Literature and years spent teaching and writing about European, Russian, and, especially, Balkan literature, culture, and history. But in between parenting and chairing a department, I yearned to write a novel about these places and people I love, hoping to bring them alive, to penetrate their complex histories, to capture their distinctive vitality.
When my husband and I returned to North Carolina, our little oasis in nature enabled me to focus on my writing. So I did, with my two aging cats either on my lap or somewhere nearby. My three kids and seven grandkids now live within an hour’s drive, and I still enjoy dancing weekly to Balkan rhythms. I have become the kind of baba Anna hopes to emulate.