Stacy Schiff

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Stacy Schiff
Stacy schiff 2011.jpg
Born (1961-10-26) October 26, 1961 (age 53)
Adams, Massachusetts
Nationality American
Education Phillips Andover Academy
Alma mater Williams College
Genre non-fiction
Notable awards Pulitzer Prize

Stacy Madeleine Schiff (born October 26, 1961)[1] is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American nonfiction author and guest columnist for The New York Times.[2]


Schiff, born in Adams, Massachusetts, is a graduate of Phillips Andover Academy 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, among other places, The New Yorker, The New York Times and The Times Literary Supplement.[3] She is a frequent contributor to The New York Times Book Review, which noted that she has been "regularly praised for both her meticulous scholarship and her witty style." (October 24, 2008)

Schiff won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography for Vera, her biography of Vera Nabokov, wife and muse of Lolita and Pale Fire author 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 a number of awards and was published in the U.K. under the title Dr. Franklin Goes to France. Discussing the book, Ron Chernow wrote "Even if forced to at gunpoint, Stacy Schiff would be incapable of writing a dull page or a lame sentence." Gordon S. Wood hailed the book as "Stunning. A remarkably subtle and penetrating portrait of Franklin and his diplomacy."

In July 2006, Schiff wrote a story about Essjay in the New Yorker magazine.

Schiff's most recent biography, Cleopatra: A Life, was published by Little, Brown and Company in November 2010, reached number 3 on The New York Times Best Seller list and garnered extraordinary reviews. The Wall Street Journal's critic wrote, "Stacy Schiff does a rare thing; she gives us a book we'd miss if it didn't exist." Rick Riordan declared Cleopatra "impossible to put down;" The New Yorker termed it "a work of literature;" Michael Korda called it "a masterpiece;" Tina Brown declared it read "almost like a novel in its juicy literary flair;" Maureen Dowd found it "captivating;" Simon Winchester predicted the book would become a classic.[4]

Currently, a guest columnist at The New York Times, Schiff resides in New York City.[5] She is a trustee of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Awards and honors[edit]

See also[edit]



  • Schiff, Stacy (1994). Saint-Exupéry: A Biography. New York: A.A. Knopf. ISBN 0-679-40310-8. 
(Nominated for the 1995 Pulitzer Prize)[7]
  • Schiff, Stacy (1999). Vera (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov). Pan Books Ltd. ISBN 0-330-37674-8. 
(Winner of 2000 Pulitzer Prize)[8]
  • Schiff, Stacy (2005). A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America. New York: Henry Holt. ISBN 0-8050-6633-0. 
(Winner of the George Washington Book Prize in 2006)[9]
(Published in the UK as Schiff, Stacy. Dr Franklin Goes to France. Bloomsbury Publishing PLC. ISBN 0-7475-6923-1. )

Selected essays and articles[edit]

(Review of Jon Kukla (2007-10-09). Mr. Jefferson's Women. Knopf. ISBN 1-4000-4324-7. )


External links[edit]