I grew up in Rockland County, a suburb about 40 miles from New York City, and graduated from Columbia University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. After college, I worked for four years as an executive search consultant and then moved to Stockholm, Sweden, in 1997. My first novel, Uptown & Down (Penguin/NAL), was published in 2005. I still live in Stockholm with my husband and our two children.
Spending time with my family is the true joy and blessing of my life and some of our best moments are spent on a little island in the Stockholm archipelago. No cars are allowed so we spend many hours taking long walks in the forest, kayaking, and bike riding. The peace and solitude are perfect for reading, my cherished hobby since childhood. My favorite books are Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison and Beloved by Toni Morrison. I also have a soft spot for anything set in New York City (the suburban girl in me longing to break free). I think Edith Wharton’s New York Novels (The House of Mirth, The Custom of the Country, The Age of Innocence) and Jay McInerney’s Bright Lights, Big City brilliantly capture the allure and temptations of the city.
I’ve always wanted to write and love the challenge of searching for the perfect word or making a jumbled sentence sound more coherent. I’m also a news and information junkie and spend too much time listening to talking heads discuss the state of the world. Movies and smart TV series are a wonderful way for me to offset information overload, but I usually doze off during a crucial scene–much to my husband’s chagrin! I’m definitely a morning person and treasure the solitude of dawn and tasting that first cup of coffee (Gevalia, black, no sugar).
Stockholm is a great city to live in—small and family-friendly with just the right amount of edginess. The restaurant and cultural scenes are vibrant and varied; Swedes are very curious about new things. Traveling is a constant source of knowledge and inspiration, but I dislike packing and airports. My top countries to visit are Italy and France. I have a weakness for Italian red wine and pasta Bolognese. I’m also a huge fan of French style and admire the richness of the language. My parents were born and raised in Haiti and my first words were in French. While I love fashion, my number one outfit is wearing comfy sweat pants and a fleece jacket (with sleeves, NEVER a vest!). Even better if I can stay home all day and write!