Author, journalist, columnist, tv correspondent, lecturer and professor – it's been a crazy, unexpected ride and, thank God, I'm not done yet. The book I'm now writing for W.W. Norton -- The Mystic's Daughter – will be the most resonant and inspiring of my long-term projects: a biography of Noor Inayat Khan – poet, author, Sufi mystic and secret British agent in France during World War Two.
Too many of my books involve unsavory or controversial characters – a rabbi who had his wife killed, a Jewish mentalist who got too close to top Nazis, an incendiary National of Islam leader. These were cautionary tales. Noor's is exemplary and uplifting. But please be patient: publication date isn't until Fall 2019.
Writing is an exploration of self, of time, of place -- various times and various places, but always one self – I can't get away from me. Overall, it's a plunge into mystery since, indeed, all life is a mystery. Why settle for the easy and the pat when you can wrangle with the difficult and the complex and have fun at the same time?
In addition to writing books, I've been a visiting professor of journalism at Georgetown and professor of writing at the University of Baltimore; a consultant to several PBS documentaries and to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; a columnist for Beliefnet.com; a contributing correspondent to PBS's "Religion & Ethics Newsweekly;" editorial director of Jewish Lights Publishing; senior editor of the Baltimore Jewish Times; environmental reporter for National Journal; writer/editor for Ralph Nader; director of publications for an energy conservation project; and a reporter for two Pennsylvania newspapers.
My op-eds have appeared in Newsweek, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Houston Chronicle, The Baltimore Sun, and the Philadelphia Inquirer, and I've free-lanced for Conde Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure, The Washington Post, The Dallas Morning News, The Christian Science Monitor, The Jerusalem Report, Tikkun and The New York Times, Boston Globe, Geo, Islands and Historic Preservation magazines.
I'm listed in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in Religion, Who's Who in the East and Writers Who's Who, and have appeared on numerous tv and radio shows, including Dateline, the CBS Early Show, Court TV's "Catherine Crier Live," PBS's "The MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour," ABC's "World News Tonight," C-Span's "Booknotes," and NPR's "Morning Edition."
I've received 16 Simon Rockower Awards from the American Jewish Press Association; five A.D. Emmart Awards for writing on the humanities; two Smolar Awards for Excellence in Jewish Journalism; two National Mass Media Certificates of Recognition from the National Conference of Christians and Jews. I've spoken around the country, from Nantucket to Los Angeles, from Sag Harbor to San Francisco, and to such organizations as the 92nd Street Y in New York, the Anti-Defamation League, the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee and an international convention of the Psychic Entertainers Association.