I am writing a new book called Angels of Iwo Jima: The Untold Story of American Combat Nurses in the Final Battles of World War Two (Basic Books US, Atlantic Books, UK).
I'm the author of X Troop: The Secret Jewish Commandos of World War Two (Mariner Harper Collins US; Chatto Penguin UK) as well as four previous books.
Prior to that I wrote Young Lions: How Jewish Authors Reinvented the American War Novel (Northwestern UP) and it won the Jordan Schnitzer Book Award for Modern Jewish History and was shortlisted for the National Jewish Book Award.
I hold the Larry A. and Klara Silverstein Chair and am the Director of Jewish Studies at Hunter College, CUNY. I have lived and worked all over the world: West Africa (when I was a child and my parents were in the Peace Corps), Israel (where I had a Fulbright), the United Kingdom (as a student at Oxford), and Australia (where I was a Professor at Monash University). I returned to my birthplace of New York City in 2018 and I live here with my husband, the thriller writer Adrian McKinty, our two daughters and two cats.
I became interested in Jewish soldiers in World War Two because so many of my own relatives had served. While writing the book, I had to go deep into the archives, get documents unclassified and most exciting of all I got to interview and meet still living commandos and their families. When I started work on this project I assumed that it would potentially be another depressing story of Jews and the Holocaust but was stunned to discover that this is an incredibly optimistic story of Jews fighting back against the Nazis.