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Stacy Madeleine Schiff (born October 26, 1961)[1] is an American nonfiction author. She was formerly a guest columnist for The New York Times.[2] Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Brad Gooch has called her "perhaps the most seductive writer of nonfiction prose in America in our time."[3]

Stacy Schiff
Photographic portrait
Schiff in 2016
BornStacy Madeleine Schiff
(1961-10-26) October 26, 1961 (age 57)
Adams, Massachusetts
OccupationWriter and editor
EducationPhillips Academy (Andover)
Alma materWilliams College
Notable awardsPulitzer Prize



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.[4][5]

Schiff won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography for Vera, 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.[6] Her fourth book, Cleopatra: A Life, was published to universal acclaim 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." [7] The New Yorker termed the book "a work of literature;"[citation needed] Simon Winchester predicted "it will become a classic."[8] Ron Chernow wrote, "Even if forced to at gunpoint, Stacy Schiff would be incapable of writing a dull page or a lame sentence."[citation needed] Cleopatra appeared on most year-end best books lists, including the New York Times's Top Ten Books of 2010, and won the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for biography. A #1 bestseller, it was translated into 30 languages.[citation needed]

Little, Brown published The Witches: Salem, 1692 in 2015. The New York Times hailed it as "an almost novelistic, thriller-like narrative."[9] David McCullough declared the book "brilliant from start to finish."[10] It was also a #1 bestseller. In 2018 the French Ministry of Culture named Schiff a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres. In 2019 Schiff was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.[11] A former guest columnist at The New York Times, Schiff resides in New York City and is a trustee of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.[12]

Awards and honorsEdit



  • Schiff, Stacy (1994). Saint-Exupéry: A Biography. New York: A.A. Knopf. ISBN 0-679-40310-8.
(Nominated for the 1995 Pulitzer Prize)[18]
  • Schiff, Stacy (1999). Vera (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov). Pan Books Ltd. ISBN 0-330-37674-8.
(Winner of 2000 Pulitzer Prize)[19]
  • 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 0-316-00192-9.
  • Schiff, Stacy (2015). The Witches: Salem, 1692. Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 9780316200615.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Barnes&Noble Meet the Writers: Stacy Schiff". Archived from the original on February 2, 2007.
  2. ^ "News about Stacy Schiff, including commentary and archival articles published in The New York Times". The New York Times.
  3. ^ "Brad Gooch". Wall Street Journal. 2017-01-13. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  4. ^ Suellen Stringer-Hye (1999). "An interview with Stacy Schiff". The Pennsylvania State University.
  5. ^ "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.
  6. ^ Thomspon, Bob (May 24, 2006). "Schiff Wins Washington Book Prize For Work On Franklin". The Washington Post.
  7. ^ Ruden, Sarah (November 2010). "Book Review: Cleopatra - WSJ". The Wall Street Journal.
  8. ^ "Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff - Little, Brown and Company"
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^, Michael Borum //. "Stacy Schiff, author | Official website | THE WITCHES - now available | The Witches: Salem, 1692". Retrieved 2017-03-22.
  11. ^ "2019 Newly Elected Members - American Academy of Arts and Letters". 2019-02-26. Retrieved 2019-03-02.
  12. ^ Kate Taylor (2010-12-10). "Stacy Schiff's Cleopatra: skilled political operator, not sex goddess". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2013-03-05.
  13. ^ a b "ALOUD: Lectures, Readings, Performances, & Discussions". Los Angeles Central Library. Archived from the original on December 27, 2005.
  14. ^ "Vera (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov), by Stacy Schiff (Random House)". The Pulitzer Prizes — Columbia University. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  15. ^ "The Decades Ball - June 1, 2015". Lapham’s Quarterly. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  16. ^ "2017 Annual Dinner". Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  17. ^ "2019 Newly Elected Members – American Academy of Arts and Letters". Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  18. ^ "1995 Finalists". The Pulitzer Prizes – Columbia University.
  19. ^ "2000 Winners". The Pulitzer Prizes – Columbia University.

External linksEdit