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I am a professional journalist and author who lives in the Washington, D.C. suburbs with my husband, who is a genuine rocket scientist, and our daughters, ages 11 and 7. Before children (B.C.), my life centered around The Washington Post and a few minor problems with depression. Well, okay—major problems. In 1990, after my second or third suicide attempt (depending on how you count them) I wound up in a locked psych ward, deprived of all my sharp objects. Five years later, I wrote a book about my ongoing relationship with The Beast, as I call this thing (the book was entitled, naturally, The Beast, Putnam 1995), in which I attempted to blast the misconception that it is impossible to have a major mental illness and a perfect attendance record at work. Then came marriage, and then came children

At some point, it occurred to me that the topic of how coping with depression and being a halfway decent mother was a subject I had never seen made into a book. So I wrote one (The Ghost in the House: Motherhood, Raising Children and Struggling with Depression, HarperCollins, 2006). Lately I've decided I need to expand my interests, so I've been writing about international law (NYU Law Journal), the Civil War (the Civil War Times) and the State of the Media (online columnist for the Committee of Concerned Journalists)--in other words, a little this, a little that. I'm up for almost any subject, in fact, except running the PTA's Cultural Arts Committee, at which I suck. But that's a whole other story.


Johnny Cash, Iris Dement, current affairs, the Berlioz Requiem. Mind-blowing books I have read in recent years: "Life on the Mississippi," by Mark Twain; the memoirs of William Tecumseh Sherman; "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle," by Barbara Kingsolver.