Cleopatra (Schiff)

Author Bio
Birth—October 26, 1961
Where—Adams, Massachusetts, USA
Education—B.A., Williams College
Awards—Pulitzer Prize in Biography (more below)
Currently—lives in New York City, New York

Stacy Schiff is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American nonfiction author. Born in Adams, Massachusetts, Schiff attended Phillips Andover Academy preparatory school and went on to earn her B.A. degree from Williams College in 1982. She was a Senior Editor at Simon & Schuster until 1990.

Her essays and articles have appeared in The New Yorker, New York Times and Times Literary Supplement. She is a guest columnist at the New York Times, as well as a frequent contributor to the New York Times Book Review, which noted that she has been "regularly praised for both her meticulous scholarship and her witty style."

In 2000, Schiff won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for her biography of Vera Nabokov, wife and muse of author Vladimir Nabokov. She was also a finalist for the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for Saint-Exupéry: A Biography of Antoine de Saint Exupery.

Her work, A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America (2005) won a number of awards. In discussing the book, author and historican Ron Chernow wrote, "Even if forced to at gunpoint, Stacy Schiff would be incapable of writing a dull page or a lame sentence." Gordon S. Wood hailed the book as "Stunning. A remarkably subtle and penetrating portrait of Franklin and his diplomacy."

Schiff's 2010 biography Cleopatra: A Life reached number 3 on the New York Times Best Seller list and garnered extraordinary reviews. The Wall Street Journal's critic wrote, "Stacy Schiff does a rare thing; she gives us a book we'd miss if it didn't exist." Rick Riordan declared Cleopatra "impossible to put down;" Simon Winchester predicted the book would become a classic.

Witches: Salem, 1692, published in 2015, recounts the witch trials and mass hysteria in New England, as well as Europe. Harvard historian David D. Hall said the book "is as close as we will ever come to understanding what happened in and around Salem in 1692. Courtrooms, streets, churches, farm yards, taverns, bedrooms-all became theater-like places where anger, anxiety, sorrow, and tragedy are entangled. An astonishing achievement."

Schiff resides in New York City. She is a trustee of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Award and honors
♦ National Endowment for the Humanities
♦ Cullman Center for Scholars & Writers, New York Public Library
♦ John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation

Awards and honors
2000 - Pulitzer Prize, Vera
2006 - Academy Award in Literature, American Academy of Arts and Letters
2006 - Gilbert Chinard Prize, A Great Improvisation
2006 - George Washington Book Prize, A Great Improvisation
2006 - Ambassador Book Award (American Studies), A Great Improvisation
2010 - EMMA Award for journalistic excellence, "Who's Buried in Cleopatra's Tomb?"
2011 - Library Lion by the New York Public Library
2011 - PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography, Cleopatra
2012 - Phillips Academy Alumni Award of Distinction
2012 - The French-American Foundation Vergennes Achievement Award
2014 - BIO Award, Biographers International Organization
2015 - Newberry Library Award
(Author bio adapted from Wikipedia. Retrieved 10/13/2015.)

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