Ariel S. Leve

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Ariel S. Leve
Born (1968-01-24) January 24, 1968 (age 49)
New York, New York
Occupation Journalist, author
Citizenship United States
Genre Non fiction, memoir
Notable works An Abbreviated Life

Ariel S. Leve (born January 24, 1968) is an American writer, award-winning journalist and columnist. She was a columnist for The Guardian and subsequently for the Sunday Times Magazine for over ten years. Her memoir An Abbreviated Life was published by HarperCollins in 2016 to widespread critical acclaim.

Early life[edit]

Ariel Leve was born in New York City and grew up with her mother, a poet, in Manhattan.[1] At age five she began traveling to Southeast Asia, where she spent part of the year living in Bangkok, Thailand, with her father. Her early life is the subject of An Abbreviated Life.


From October 2005 to January 2010 Leve wrote a weekly column under the title "Cassandra"[2] for the Sunday Times Magazine. Prior to that, the column ran in The Guardian under the title "Half Empty". The Cassandra Chronicles was published in the UK in August 2009 by Portobello Books, and in the US by Harper Perennial under the title It Could Be Worse, You Could Be Me. Leve's television pilot of It Could Be Worse, You Could Be Me was optioned by Cineflix Studios.

Leve's work has appeared frequently in The Guardian. She has contributed to The New York Times, Esquire, The FT Magazine,Vogue (UK), Granta, the Evening Standard (UK), Elle, Marie Claire, The Wall Street Journal Magazine, The Jewish Chronicle, The New York Observer, Psychologies, and other publications.

Feature articles by Leve have covered the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shootings, women who guard the women on Death Row, and a series of features on veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Examples of other cover subjects include the Amish and how they discourage the younger generation from leaving the fold; the story of Iraq war veteran Tyler Ziegel and his wife Renee, one year after his return from Iraq, and the toll it took on their marriage;[3] US Marines who have been wounded and the reconstructive surgery they are receiving; demystifying the Chelsea Hotel; a look at the anger management business; a polemic on the importance of listening; the love story of Steve McQueen and his widow, Barbara; what science can tell us about ourselves and how much we really want to know; a profile of Stan Brock, a penniless Brit who is working to solve the US health care crisis; and a cover story which examined what happens to unidentified bodies in Britain told through a six-month investigation tracing the identity of an unknown and unmourned man named Andrew Smith.

Among others, Leve has profiled Mike Nichols, Martin Scorsese, Arthur Miller, Bill Nighy, Tom Cruise, Dan Rather, Quentin Tarantino, Tim Burton, Mickey Rourke, Richard Pryor, Elton John, Christopher Walken, Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Lange, Edward Norton, Toni Morrison, Oliver Sacks and John Irving. A recent cover story for Esquire magazine was on Liev Schreiber.

From January 2010 until February 2011, Leve wrote "The Fussy Eater"[4] column which appeared in the Observer Food Monthly.[4]


She has been shortlisted for the British Press Awards three times for Interviewer of the Year (2005 and 2010) and Feature Writer of the Year (2008). She has been Highly Commended twice: Feature Writer (2008) and Interview of the year (2010).

In 2008 she won Feature Writer of the Year from the Magazine Design and Journalism Awards [5]


Leve's first book, It Could Be Worse, You Could Be Me, published in 2010, was a collection of her "Cassandra” columns from the The Sunday Times Magazine, and offers a humorous bleak perspective of life. Her second book, The Year of the Revolution, co-authored by Robin Morgan recounts the story of the rise of the Youthquake movement in 1963. Leve and Morgan detail how young people became a significant commercial and cultural force for the first time. The book includes interviews with prominent figures from the movement, including Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman, Mary Quant, Patti Boyd, Andrew Loog Oldham, Neil Sedaka and Carly Simon.

Leve's third book, An Abbreviated Life, was published in June 2016. A memoir of her early years, it explores the psychological consequences of a traumatic childhood.[6] It received critical praise in The Guardian[6] and The New York Times.[7]



  1. ^ The Barnes & Noble Review The Barnes & Noble Review
  2. ^ The Sunday Times: Cassandra Final "Cassandra" column.
  3. ^ The Sunday Times: Tyler Ziegel and Renee, "Tyler Ziegel and Renee: One Year On"
  4. ^ a b Observer Food Monthly"The Fussy Eater" column
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2005-10-29. Retrieved 2005-11-17. 
  6. ^ a b Ronson, Jon. "Ariel Leve: 'I was the parent and my mother was the child'". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 February 2017. 
  7. ^ Senior, Jennifer. "Review: In 'An Abbreviated Life,' Ariel Leve Escapes Her Mommie Dearest". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 February 2017. 

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