I was born in Berkeley, CA and raised mainly in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC. Two of the greatest gifts our parents gave my sister, brother, and me while we were growing up are our educations (as much at home as in school) and the opportunity to travel.
From 1970-1990, my family spent alternate summers in Yugoslavia, mainly visiting my paternal grandmother’s farm in rural Serbia, but also splitting time between Belgrade and our favorite town on the Dalmatian coast, Cavtat. Though we all continue to make regular trips to visit my father’s birthplace, my siblings and I have not returned to Croatia since the Balkan wars of the 1990s; it’s a dream of mine that we’ll do so together one day.
After high school in DC, I got my BA at McGill University (Montreal), spent a year back home waiting tables and working in politics, and then moved to the UK for a two-year graduate program in English Studies at Oxford. In 1994, I returned to the US to pursue a MA in something called Modern Studies, as well as a PhD in English. My dissertation explored the relationship between notions of civility and national identity in English fiction. As a graduate instructor and postdoctoral fellow at the University of Virginia, I taught classes in academic writing, modern & contemporary literature, and the development of the novel in English. From 2004-2010, I was on the faculty of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond, where I taught a variety of interdisciplinary liberal arts courses, from Critical Thinking to Anglo-American Women’s Movements.
I’m currently on an extended hiatus from teaching, watching lots of tennis, occasionally writing about the sport, and working on a book about my family’s experience with war in Yugoslavia.