Stacy Schiff

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Stacy Schiff
Born Stacy Madeleine Schiff
(1961-10-26) October 26, 1961 (age 56)
Adams, Massachusetts
Occupation Writer and editor
Nationality American
Education Phillips Academy (Andover)
Alma mater Williams College
Genre non-fiction
Notable awards Pulitzer Prize

Stacy Madeleine Schiff (born October 26, 1961)[1] is an American nonfiction author. She was formerly a guest columnist for The New York Times.[2] Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Brad Gooch has called her "perhaps the most seductive writer of nonfiction prose in America in our time."[3]


Schiff, born in Adams, Massachusetts, is a graduate of Phillips Academy (Andover) preparatory school, and earned 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, The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, and The Times Literary Supplement.[4][5]

Schiff won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography for Vera, a biography of Vera Nabokov, wife and muse of Vladimir Nabokov. She was also a finalist for the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography for Saint-Exupéry: A Biography of Antoine de Saint Exupéry.[1]

Schiff’s A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America (2005) won the George Washington Book Prize.[6] Her fourth book, Cleopatra: A Life, was published to great acclaim in 2010. As the Wall Street Journal's reviewer put it, "Schiff does a rare thing: She gives us a book we'd miss if it didn't exist."[citation needed]The New Yorker termed the book "a work of literature;"[citation needed] Simon Winchester predicted "it will become a classic."[citation needed] Ron Chernow wrote, "Even if forced to at gunpoint, Stacy Schiff would be incapable of writing a dull page or a lame sentence."[citation needed] Cleopatra appeared on most year-end best books lists, including the New York Times's Top Ten Books of 2010, and won the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for biography. A #1 bestseller, it was translated into 30 languages.[citation needed]

Little, Brown published The Witches: Salem, 1692 in 2015. The New York Times hailed it as "an almost novelistic, thriller-like narrative."[7] David McCullough declared the book "brilliant from start to finish."[8] A former guest columnist at The New York Times, Schiff resides in New York City and is a trustee of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.[9]

Awards and honors



  • Schiff, Stacy (1994). Saint-Exupéry: A Biography. New York: A.A. Knopf. ISBN 0-679-40310-8. 
(Nominated for the 1995 Pulitzer Prize)[12]
  • Schiff, Stacy (1999). Vera (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov). Pan Books Ltd. ISBN 0-330-37674-8. 
(Winner of 2000 Pulitzer Prize)[13]
  • Schiff, Stacy (2005). A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America. New York: Henry Holt. ISBN 0-8050-6633-0.  (Published in the UK as Dr Franklin Goes to France
  • Schiff, Stacy (2010). Cleopatra: A Life. Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 0-316-00192-9. 
  • Schiff, Stacy (2015), The Witches: Salem, 1692 (2015). New York: Little, Brown. ISBN 9780316200615.

Selected essays and articles

  • "The Witches of Salem". New Yorker. August 31, 2015. 
  • "Desperately Seeking Susan". New York Times. October 13, 2006. 
  • Schiff, Stacy (2007-10-14). "Founding Chauvinist Pig?". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-10-24. 
(Review of Jon Kukla (2007-10-09). Mr. Jefferson's Women. Knopf. ISBN 1-4000-4324-7. )
  • "Cleopatra's Guide to Good Governance." New York Times, December 4, 2010
  • "Eternal Flame – 'Country Girl: A Memoir,' by Edna O'Brien". New York Times. May 10, 2013. 
  • "The Interactive Truth". New York Times. June 15, 2005. 
  • "Camp Stories (review of Nathan Englander's What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank)". New York Times Sunday Book Review. February 16, 2012. 

See also


  1. ^ a b "Barnes&Noble Meet the Writers: Stacy Schiff". Archived from the original on February 2, 2007. 
  2. ^ "News about Stacy Schiff, including commentary and archival articles published in The New York Times". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ "Brad Gooch". Wall Street Journal. 2017-01-13. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2017-02-01. 
  4. ^ Suellen Stringer-Hye (1999). "An interview with Stacy Schiff". The Pennsylvania State University. 
  5. ^ "Book reviews by Stacy Schiff in the New York Review of Books". The New York Review of Books. 
  6. ^ Thomspon, Bob (May 24, 2006). "Schiff Wins Washington Book Prize For Work On Franklin". The Washington Post. 
  7. ^ Alter, Alexandra (2015-10-25). "Stacy Schiff's 'The Witches' Shines a Torch on Salem Trials". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-03-22. 
  8. ^, Michael Borum //. "Stacy Schiff, author | Official website | THE WITCHES - now available | The Witches: Salem, 1692". Retrieved 2017-03-22. 
  9. ^ Kate Taylor (2010-12-10). "Stacy Schiff's Cleopatra: skilled political operator, not sex goddess". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2013-03-05. 
  10. ^ a b "ALOUD: Lectures, Readings, Performances, & Discussions". Los Angeles Central Library. Archived from the original on 2005-12-17. 
  11. ^ "Vera (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov), by Stacy Schiff (Random House)". The Pulitzer Prizes — Columbia University. Retrieved 2017-12-21. 
  12. ^ "1995 Finalists". The Pulitzer Prizes – Columbia University. 
  13. ^ "2000 Winners". The Pulitzer Prizes – Columbia University. 

External links

  • Official Website
  • "An Interview with Stacy Schiff" by Suellen Stringer-Hye, published in April 1999 by Random House.
  • Appearances on C-SPAN
    • Q&A interview with Schiff, November 6, 2011
  • Interview with Schiff on "New Books in Biography"
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