Stacy Schiff

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Stacy Schiff
Photographic portrait
Schiff in 2016
BornStacy Madeleine Schiff
(1961-10-26) October 26, 1961 (age 58)
Adams, Massachusetts
OccupationWriter and editor
EducationPhillips Academy (Andover)
Alma materWilliams College
Notable awardsPulitzer Prize

Stacy Madeleine Schiff (born October 26, 1961)[1] is an American nonfiction author residing in New York.


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, The Times Literary Supplement.[2][3]

Schiff won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography for Vera (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov), 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.[4] Her fourth book, Cleopatra: A Life, was published 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." [5]

Little, Brown published The Witches: Salem, 1692 in 2015. The New York Times described it as "an almost novelistic, thriller-like narrative,"[6] however, writing in the New York Times Book Review, Jane Kamensky found it to be “curiously flat,” offering “banalities” and a “tenuous grip on the period.”[7] Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Felipe Fernández-Armesto found that Schiff offered "a trial narrative unsurpassed for detail and impressive for her mastery of the fragmentary and frustrating sources." He found the overall result, however, to be "unsatisfying" because "she uncovers no new clues to understanding" the context of the trials.[8]

Schiff resides in New York City.[9]

Awards and honors[edit]



  • Schiff, Stacy (1994). Saint-Exupéry: A Biography. New York: A.A. Knopf. ISBN 0-679-40310-8.
(Nominated for the 1995 Pulitzer Prize)[14]
  • Schiff, Stacy (1999). Vera (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov). Pan Books Ltd. ISBN 0-330-37674-8.
(Winner of 2000 Pulitzer Prize)[15]
  • 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 978-0-316-00192-2.
  • Schiff, Stacy (2015). The Witches: Salem, 1692. Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 978-0-316-20061-5.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Barnes&Noble Meet the Writers: Stacy Schiff". Archived from the original on February 2, 2007.
  2. ^ Suellen Stringer-Hye (1999). "An interview with Stacy Schiff". The Pennsylvania State University. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ "Book reviews by Stacy Schiff in the New York Review of Books". The New York Review of Books., The Boston Globe, and The Washington Post, among many other publications.
  4. ^ Thomspon, Bob (May 24, 2006). "Schiff Wins Washington Book Prize For Work On Franklin". The Washington Post.
  5. ^ Ruden, Sarah (November 2010). "Book Review: Cleopatra – WSJ". The Wall Street Journal.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  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 December 27, 2005.
  11. ^ "Vera (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov), by Stacy Schiff (Random House)". The Pulitzer Prizes — Columbia University. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  12. ^ "The Decades Ball - June 1, 2015". Lapham’s Quarterly. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  13. ^ "2017 Annual Dinner". Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  14. ^ "1995 Finalists". The Pulitzer Prizes – Columbia University. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  15. ^ "2000 Winners". The Pulitzer Prizes – Columbia University. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

External links[edit]