I grew up in Vienna and came to Canada in 1965.
After a stint as a filing clerk (a job that has gone the way of the dodo bird), I enrolled in the Classics Department at U of T and obtained my doctorate in '76. I wrote my thesis on Greek philosophy to the background music of two crying, toy-throwing, dinner-and-love demanding kids, who gave me a bad case of split personality.
Over the next decade I worked for the University of Toronto Press on a project to publish the works of the 16th century humanist Desiderius Erasmus. The people at the Press showed great understanding for my split-personality syndrome and allowed me to commute between Toronto and Argentina (where my husband was on a foreign assignment). Did I mention that we had small kids? Those were chaotic years, but I managed to publish my first short story, in Quarry (1980), and taught courses on Renaissance history at U of T.
After we resettled in Toronto, I was hired by the Department of History at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, a much shorter commute than to Argentina. Those were the Publish or Perish years. I performed like a trained monkey, putting out a book a year, and was rewarded with a Full Professorship, SSHRC grants, and with fellowships in Germany and the US.
Click here for a partial list of my non-fiction books.
I spent 1999/2000 in Los Angeles as a Getty Fellow and fell in love with the city, its museums, beaches and mountains. My novel, Playing Naomi, builds on that experience and riffs on the Hollywood milieu.
My next novel, Alcala: The Confessions of a Priest (now at the draft stage) is rather different. It is set in 16th century Spain and based on serious historical research spun into a tale of love and intrigue.