Allison Pataki

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Allison Pataki
Born 1984 (age 32–33)
Occupation Writer
Language English
Nationality American
Alma mater Yale University
Genre Historical fiction
Notable works The Traitor's Wife, The Accidental Empress, Sisi Empress on Her Own, Where the Light Falls

Allison Pataki (born in 1984) is an American author and journalist.[1] Her three historical novels are The Traitor's Wife: The Woman Behind Benedict Arnold and the Plan to Betray America, The Accidental Empress and Sisi, Empress on Her Own.


Pataki was born in New York.[2] She is daughter of former New York State Governor and 2016 presidential candidate George Pataki.[3] Allison attended Yale University where she majored in English. She met her husband, David Levy, during her sophomore year at Yale and they married in June of 2012.[4]

In 2015, Pataki co-founded reConnect Hungary[5], an educational and social immersion program for young adults of Hungarian heritage, who are born in the U.S. or Canada, to gain a better understanding of their Hungarian heritage.[6]


The Revolutionary War history of her town inspired her to write her first book The Traitor's Wife based on the life of Benedict Arnold.[7] The book explored a romantic triangle involoving Arnold and also his roles in the Revolutionary War.[3] Her book became a New York Times bestseller.[8] Kirkus Reviews wrote that "Pataki delivers an admirable book focused on the betrayal."[9]

Allison's second and third books, also New York Times bestsellers, were The Accidental Empress and Sisi: Empress On Her Own, inspired by Allison's family roots in the former Austro-Hungarian Empire.[10][11] Kirkus Reviews felt that The Accidental Empress did not "stray far from the conventions of novels about royalty."[12] Publisher's Weekly wrote that the historical research for Sisi was "evident as she deftly explores the complex life of a woman who was both loved and hated by those whom she ruled."[13] Kirkus Reviews wrote that Sisi was "a satisfying saga of the late Habsburg period."[14]

Allison's fourth book, Where the Light Falls, is due to be released on July 11, 2017, and was co-authored with her brother Owen Pataki.[15] Kirkus Reviews wrote that this book was also well-researched, but "sheer talkiness too often overpower the narrative, and the swashbucking close is too little, too late."[15]

Allison has written for, The Huffington Post,, Travel Girl, and other media outlets.[16]

In 2016, Pataki wrote a piece for The New York Times[17] detailing her family's experience with traumatic brain injury and recovery. In 2015, Pataki's husband, David Levy, suffered a near-fatal stroke while the couple were onboard a flight to Seattle.

Selected bibliography[edit]

  • The Traitor's Wife: The Woman Behind Benedict Arnold and the Plan to Betray America (2014), published by Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster ISBN:978-1476738604
  • The Accidental Empress (2015), published by Howard Books a division of Simon & Schuster ISBN:978-1476794747
  • Sisi, Empress on Her Own (2016), published by The Dial Press, a division of Penguin Random House ISBN:978-0812989335
  • Where the Light Falls: A Novel of the French Revolution (2017) ISBN:978-0399591686


  1. ^ "George Pataki's daughter now a Chicagoan, author". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved 2017-06-15. 
  2. ^ "About the Author - Allison Pataki". Allison Pataki. Retrieved 2017-06-15. 
  3. ^ a b Lindsey, Deonne (26 February 2014). "Allison Pataki: Revising a Traitor’s Story". Retrieved 2017-06-19. 
  4. ^ "Gubernatorial Reception". Town & Country. 166 (5384): 74. June 2012 – via EBSCOhost. (Subscription required (help)). 
  5. ^ "RECONNECT Hungarian Birthright Program". Retrieved 2017-06-15. 
  6. ^ "HR Minister Meets Hungarian Youth from U.S., Canada". Hungary A.M. 16 July 2014. p. 4. Retrieved 19 June 2017 – via EBSCOhost. (Subscription required (help)). 
  7. ^ "Tales of History". WWD: Women's Wear Daily (59): 10. 24 March 2014 – via EBSCOhost. (Subscription required (help)). 
  8. ^ Burns, Jeremy. "Howard Books author Allison Pataki becomes ‘New York Times’ best-seller". Christian Retailing. Retrieved 2017-06-15. 
  9. ^ "The Traitor's Wife". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 19 June 2017. 
  10. ^ "Allison Pataki | Penguin Random House". Retrieved 2017-06-15. 
  11. ^ "Bestsellers February 23 - March 1, 2015". Publishers Weekly. 262 (10): 24–25. 9 March 2015 – via EBSCOhost. (Subscription required (help)). 
  12. ^ "The Accidental Empress". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 19 June 2017. 
  13. ^ "Fiction Book Review: Sisi by Allison Pataki". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2017-06-19. 
  14. ^ "Sisi:Empress On Her Own". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 19 June 2017. 
  15. ^ a b "Where the Light Falls". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 19 June 2017. 
  16. ^ "Allison Pataki". Simon & Schuster. Retrieved 2017-06-15. 
  17. ^ Pataki, Allison. "After a Stroke at Age 30, Making Our Own Luck". Well. Retrieved 2017-06-15.