critical writing

My book reviews have appeared in publications including The New Yorker, the New York Times Book Review, Outside, the Washington Post, and the San Francisco Chronicle. I also edited and wrote Tables for Two, the restaurant review section of The New Yorker. 

Selected writings:

Quartet for the End of Time, by Johanna Skibsrud

The Folded Earth, by Anuradha Roy

Among the Wonderful, by Stacy Carlson

Give Me Your Heart, by Joyce Carol Oates

The Translation of the Bones, by Francesca Kay

The Wrong Blood, by Manuel de Lope

Quinto Quarto

Joseph Leonard

The Breslin

Colicchio & Sons

Morimoto and Buddakan


Buttermilk Channel



As a ghostwriter, I've helped authors produce and publish op-eds, memoirs, travelogues, sportswriting, motivational and self-help essays, and personal blog posts.

My collaboration with Jacob Lief was published in May 2015 by Rodale. 

"In 1998, Jacob Lief, a 21-year-old American university student, met school teacher Malizole “Banks” Gwaxula in a township tavern in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. After bonding over beers and a shared passion for education, Gwaxula invited Lief to live with him in the township. Inspired by their fortuitous meeting—which brought together two men separated by race, nationality, and age—and by the spirit of ubuntu, roughly translated as “I am because you are,” the two men embarked on an unexpectedly profound journey.

Their vision? To provide vulnerable children in township with what every child deserves—everything. .

Today, their organization, Ubuntu Education Fund, is upending the conventional wisdom about how to break the cycle of poverty. Shunning traditional development models, Ubuntu redefined the concept of scale, focusing on how deeply it can impact each child’s life rather than how many it can reach. From pregnant mothers to students heading to university, Ubuntu provides everything each child needs and deserves, from cradle to career. Their child-centered approach reminds us that one’s birthplace should not determine one’s future.

I Am Because You Are offers an unflinching portrayal of the rewards and challenges of the nonprofit world while setting forth a bold vision for a new model of development."

Lief’s straightforward yet moving work delineates step by step how their initial good intentions became a powerful tool for transforming young lives.
— Kirkus Review