Biography

SONIA TAITZ was born in America to two Holocaust survivors from Lithuania, a master watchmaker and a concert pianist whose career was halted by the Nazis. Her mother tongue is Yiddish, and she learned English from watching television, seeing Doris Day movies, and listening to the happy Irish-American children frolicking in the playground.

At the age of four, she started her education at the Yeshiva Soloveitchik, embarking on an intense and sophisticated religious and cultural education that continued for the next thirteen years. The final six were spent at The Ramaz School, from which she graduated as Hebrew Valedictorian.

She holds a double B.A., summa cum laude (in English and Psychology) from Barnard, a J.D. from Yale Law School, and an M.Phil in 19th century English Literature from Oxford, where she studied with a descendant of William Wordsworth and was awarded the Lord Bullock Prize for Writing. A three-time Finalist at the Humana Festival of New American Plays, her work has been staged at the Oxford Playhouse, the National Theatre in Washington, New York's Primary Stages, and the Obie Award-winning Ensemble Studio Theatre, where she served as Writer-in-Residence. Most recently, a play based on her memoir, THE WATCHMAKER'S DAUGHTER, aired on NPR.

THE WATCHMAKER'S DAUGHTER (2012) received lavish praise from critic, essayist and memoirist James Wolcott (VANITY FAIR, THE NEW YORKER), Mark Whitaker (memoirist, Managing Editor of CNN, former Editor-in-Chief, NEWSWEEK), and NEW YORK TIMES-bestselling novelist/​BOSTON GLOBE critic Caroline Leavitt. The book has been recommended by PEOPLE Magazine as "funny and heartwrenching," featured under Fanfair/​"Hot Type" in VANITY FAIR, and cited as a "Can't-Miss Memoir" by READER'S DIGEST. It has also been applauded by Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, and The Library Journal, among many others. THE AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION (ALA) nominated the book for the Sophie Brody Medal, and THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE featured it in its pages. ForeWord Reviews recently awarded the memoir a BOOK OF THE YEAR MEDAL.

Sonia's other books include MOTHERING HEIGHTS, praised by PEOPLE and O: THE OPRAH MAGAZINE; she has discussed its themes (and other topics) on THE TODAY SHOW, NPR, CNN, and other national venues. The book was cited in a PBS documentary on love (narrated by Anna Deveare Smith), as well as in many anthologies.

IN THE KING'S ARMS (2011) , a novel, was recommended by THE NEW YORK TIMES SUNDAY BOOK REVIEW, ForeWord Magazine (which placed Sonia "in the ranks of the best novelists"), THE JEWISH BOOK WORLD (magazine of the Jewish Book Council) and more. IN THE KING'S ARMS was nominated for the Sami Rohr Prize in Fiction, a $100,000 grant awarded by the Jewish Book Council.

Her new book, out in Fall 2014, is a seriocomic novel called DOWN UNDER, which tells the story of a famous actor's fall from grace, and the long-lost love he hopes will save him. Though stylistically different from her previous work, its wildly romantic and intercultural themes will be familiar to her readers.

Sonia Taitz is also a journalist who has written extensively for THE NEW YORK TIMES and THE NEW YORK OBSERVER, where she was a cultural columnist. She currently writes for PSYCHOLOGY TODAY and THE HUFFINGTON POST, among others.


She is honored to be the mother of three amazing, accomplished, and kind-hearted children.
Her husband may have had a lot to do with it.


Author Photo: H&H Photographers

Portrait of Sonia Taitz/ Jan Olofsen

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Literary Non-Fiction, Jewish History, American History, Memoir
"TAITZ WEAVES HER TALE WITH MEANING AND TENDERNESS." A memoir of growing up as the child of European immigrants who are Holocaust survivors. Her bicultural, binocular life lends humor and depth to the author's story. Nominated for the Sophie Brody Medal by the American Library Association; WINNER of a BOOK OF THE YEAR MEDAL from ForeWord Reviews.
Fiction
This novel, set in England in the 1970s, is a lyrical, romantic tale about the headstrong American daughter of Holocaust survivors. Seeking relief from their traumatized world, she escapes to Oxford, where she is smitten with the son of an anti-Semitic family. Amidst the drama lies a sense of magic and the healing possibility of love. Praised by THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW.
Non-fiction, Memoir, Social commentary/Satire, Women's Studies
The book looks at the infinite variety of supposed “experts” on child-rearing, products mothers are cautioned to buy, and advances they are urged to apply to their children (such as teaching them Latin or Mandarin in utero, or training them to be gymnasts before that first crucial year has passed). Sonia Taitz reassures mothers that they are the best experts on their children, and that the intimacy born of closeness is better than any “Mommy and Me” class or flash-card drill. A classic that has been cited by O:THE OPRAH MAGAZINE as "one of the best things ever said about motherhood."

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