About Me

Height: 4'11''


Animal Alter-ego: Giraffe (see also: Height)


Favorite Places: Italy, any beach, library, home


Coffee: Decaf latte with coconut milk

Weird Fact: I have two birth certificates (Castiglione Messer Marino, Italy and Pittsburgh, PA)


Fears: Recipes with more than ten ingredients, pencils without erasers, and the evil eye


Doesn’t Fear: Humpback whales, abominable snowmen, and stinky cheese

About My Writing

I have been writing as long as I can remember and one of my earliest "books" was published by my elementary school when I was in fourth grade. When I won an award for an essay I wrote in college, I thought, "Hey, this is something I like doing and maybe I should pursue it." I studied fiction at the University of Chicago Writers' Workshop and received a MFA from Rainier Writing Workshop. After I graduated, a fellow student, Bill Sommer, sent me a goofy email about assuming character identities and starting an email correspondence as our chosen characters.

And that's how my first novel, A 52-Hertz Whale, was born. In addition to working on my next novel, I teach writing at the University of Chicago.