Richard Dean Rosen

I was born in Chicago, raised in Highland Park, Illinois, educated in public schools, then Brown and Harvard. I have two daughters, Lucy and Isabel, two brothers, and a sister. I'm of Polish descent on my father's side, Lithuanian on my mother's. At different times I've been a journalist (The Boston Phoenix, contributor to the New York Times, New York magazine, and many other publications), a television comedian (PBS, HBO, Saturday Night Live), a book editor (Workman Publishing, ESPN Books), a writing teacher (Harvard, The Business of Sports High School in NYC), a television news producer (CBS, PBS), and a chef at a hippie restaurant. I started by writing poetry as a teenager. At Harvard, where I studied poetry with Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop, I won the American Academy of Poets Prize at Harvard in 1971. Ironically, by then I had already renounced poetry for prose. I suppose that, if anything distinguishes me as a writer, it's the variety of books I've published, from intellectual journalism to Edgar Award-winning mystery novels to bestselling humor books to narrative nonfiction about genocide. This may not be the shortest route to a coherent public identity, but, since my 20s, my different selves—from brooding introvert to arch extrovert—have wanted to express themselves, chiefly in books. Whatever day jobs I've held in other media, I've always returned to writing books. I've never really wanted to be anything other than a writer, except an electric guitarist and a nightclub singer--career paths blocked by my lack of musical talent and my painfully mediocre, though enthusiastic, singing voice. My latest book is Such Good Girls: The Journey of the Holocaust's Hidden Child Survivors, which was born of a chance meeting with Sophie Turner-Zaretsky and the inchoate feeling that, as a privileged Jewish product of one of the safest places in the world to be a Jew, I finally needed to confront the genocide of my own people.

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