About Me


I'm a writer who challenges the conventional wisdom on subjects that broadly touch people's lives. Over decades of work as a journalist and author, I have examined how accepted practices in one era had unexpected and often devastating consequences in the years that followed.

I believe that sweeping historical trends must be explored through the stories of the lives of the people who are most deeply affected by them. To fully investigate the story I tell in American Baby, I interviewed sources and visited archives in a dozen states from Oregon to Florida, as well as France and Israel. 

My previous book, "Her Best-Kept Secret: Why Women Drink -- And How They Can Regain Control," was a New York Times bestseller. It looked at why womens' consumption of alcohol has risen so sharply, how the 85-year-old faith-based program of Alcoholics Anonymous can be harmful to women, and which evidence-based treatments can help those who drink too much.

My work on mental health, medicine, and culture has been published by The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times, The Daily Beast, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, STAT, and many other publications. I have appeared on many national radio and television programs, including NPR's Fresh Air, All Things Considered, WNYC's On the Media, and The Brian Lehrer Show, NBC's Nightly News, ABC's World NewsTonight, and All in with Chris Hayes. My investigative Atlantic story,  “The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous,” is included in Houghton Mifflin’s Best American Science and Nature Writing Anthology, 2016 edition.

I studied at Stanford University, where I received both my bachelor's and master's degrees in history. I grew up in Oregon, and live in New Jersey with my husband. I have three wise daughters.