My Words

Most of who I am boils down to words on paper or the digital equivalent. Skip the photos, the slide shows, the resume and the personal encounter. To read me is to know me. Here are some samples.


Earthly Branches Cover

Earthly Branches, Heavenly Stems

Althea is a global nomad, an American born in an African village, the daughter of a relief worker. She is fourteen when she digs in her heels and refuses to leave her true community and return to her mother’s idea of civilization: the United States. But when Althea finds herself caught up in the horrific crossfire of an African civil war, evacuation is inevitable.

Flight Cover


When Elizabeth, a teacher and mother of four, leaves her New Jersey home early on a bitterly cold day, she imagines she can escape the tragedy that has overtaken her life. She doesn’t know that nineteen-year-old Cynthia, only thirty minutes away, will soon slam the door on a mother she can’t abide, or that Alexander, embittered and alone, will steal a computer in Connecticut and take a bus south. Like migratory birds, their journey toward warmer climes brings them to the Florida backwoods, where a collection of unlikely locals help them keep the forces of life at bay.

The Gift Box Cover


When Bea moves to South Carolina in 1980 with her recently remarried mother and her eccentric sister Izzy, she carries with her a box of archival treasures: the souvenirs of a life she barely recalls, memories of her father and the opera Madame Butterfly. Soon Bea’s innocent friendships embroil her in a web of racial tension that she escapes by entering even darker territory.

Memoir in Pieces

My autobiography in bite-sized chunks. A selection can be found here.

Odds and Ends

  • Review, How to Paint a Dead Man, Belletrista, Nov/Dec 2009
  • Review, Woman on the Other Shore, Belletrista, Nov/Dec 2009
  • Review, And the World Changed: Contemporary Stories by Pakistani Women, Belletrista, Sept. 2009
  • “2009 Women’s Symposium: Three Muses and Many Voices” NewsLinks, Fall, 2009
  • “Culture Through Clay: Integrating African Tradition into American Curriculum,” with Gisele Thijs, Arts and Activities, Nov. 2007
  • “Blowing the Horn for Children’s Literature,” NewsLinks, February, 1991
  • “Books of Interest: A Selection of Multicultural Resources,” NewsLinks, April, 1991
  • “Teacher Certification: Challenge for the 90’s,” NewsLinks, September, 1991
  • “At Home without a Home: Third Culture Kids Speak Out,” NewsLinks, March, 1992
  • My Book Reviews at LibraryThing