Debra M. Ginsberg

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Debra Ginsberg (born June 15, 1962) is a London born, American author. She is the author of three memoirs as well as four novels.[1] Her first memoir Waiting: The True Confessions of a Waitress was published by HarperCollins Publishers in 2000, followed by Raising Blaze: A Mother and Son's Long, Strange Journey Into Autism, which chronicled her longtime struggle to get her son the education he was entitled to.

Early life[edit]

Debra Ginsberg was born June 15, 1962, in London, England. In her youth the Ginsberg family moved frequently between, Europe, America and South Africa, settling in America in the 1970s. They moved back and forth from New York City to the West Coast before eventually locating in Portland, Oregon. Ginsberg attended Lake Oswego High School and Reed College, a liberal arts college in Portland's Eastmoreland neighborhood.

At 16, she worked as a waitress in her father's restaurant.[2]

She gave birth to her son, Blaze Ginsberg, in 1987. He is also a writer (Episodes: My Life as I See It, Roaring Brook Press, New York, 2009).

In 2008, she was residing in San Diego.[3]


Ginsberg spent twenty years waiting tables. Those years were the basis of her first book, the memoir Waiting: The True Confessions of a Waitress, published in 2000 by HarperCollins Publishers, NY. Publisher's Weekly wrote, "[Ginsberg] conveys the unpredictability and humanity of this humble but essential work. While the Associated Press said, "This book is more than a saga about workplace woes...Ginsberg relives her personal struggle, waiting for her life to happen."

Her second memoir, Raising Blaze; A Mother and Son's Long, Strange Journey Into Autism (2002), of which The Kirkus review wrote, "A stirring record of a mother's battle fought with zest, humor, and love." Raising Blaze was followed by About My Sisters (2004), in which Ginsberg chronicled life as one of three sisters (and a brother) from a large family, brought up by, less than conventional, parents. It was a Denver Post Bestseller. The triptych provides an insightful look at a large, outspoken, modern American family.

After three memoirs Ginsberg tried her hand at fiction, publishing Blind Submission (Shaye Arehart, Crown 2006), a New York Times Editor's Choice. The Grift followed in 2008 and was chosen as a New New York Times Notable Book.[4]

Ginsberg has worked for various literary agencies and enjoys a second career as a book editor. She has been a frequent reviewer for the San Diego Union Tribune and has reviewed for the Washington Post. She has reviewed for Shelf Awareness, a major publishing industry newsletter and has done commentary for National Public Radio.



Waiting: The True Confessions of a Waitress (2000)

Raising Blaze: A Mother and Son's Long, Strange Journey Into Autism (2002)

About My Sisters (2004)


Blind Submission (2006)

The Grift (2008)

The Neighbors Are Watching (2010)

What The Heart Remembers (2012)

Further Reading

Episodes: My Life As I See It (Blaze Ginsberg, Roaring Book Press, NY, NY, 2009)


  1. ^ Retrieved 11 April 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Van Dagens, Margaret (10 September 2000). "Books In Brief: Nonfiction". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ Schillinger, Liesl (20 August 2008). "A Cynical Seer Unnerved by Her Own Inner Psychic". The New York Times. 
  4. ^