About Ariella

Ariella_CohenAlthough she makes her home in New England, Ariella Cohen’s dream self resides in County Mayo, Ireland.  A graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University, she attended the Hebrew University as a Visiting Scholar and holds a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.  Her debut adult novel Sweet Breath of Memory was published in trade paperback June 2016 author website and will be out in Large Print hardcover in September.  Her novella, The Bargain, a Faustian Tale is available as an e-book at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/34168, her essay The Value of Grey is available as an ebook at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/107758, and her short story collections The White Cat at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/261194 and Christmas Stories at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/31737.

Her short fiction  appears in Heartscapes (Spruce Mountain Press, 2012) and in A Cup of Comfort for Couples (Adams Media, 2010) under the name Ariella Golani.  She was runner up in Redbook’s 2010 Short Story Contest; and, received an honorable mention from Spruce Mountain Press’ 2010 Short Story Contest.

A native of New Jersey, Ariella spent more than a decade working as a senior administrator at Columbia University, The New York Public Library and Yeshiva University, before returning to school to complete a law degree.  After practicing in New York and New Jersey, she left the world of real estate securitization to focus on her family.

As much as she admires writers who hit the mark at 20 or 25, at those ages Ariella simply hadn’t made enough mistakes – in life and love – to write well.  She’s made up for that since.

Her writing life is far from solitary, so when they decide to come the words often find her at the sink, folding laundry, or weeding the garden.  Sometimes, her characters must make their case in quarter hours – the time it takes to brew tea, scrub a floor or walk the dog.

She counts among her favorite books:  Kenilworth; The Warden; The Mayor of Casterbridge; All Passion Spent; The Haunted Bookshop; Jane Eyre; Pride & Prejudice; and, The Witch of Blackbird Pond.  Her favored modes of procrastination when the writing simply won’t come are playing with her animals, baking chocolate chip cookies, gardening and watching M*A*S*H reruns.

 

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2 Responses to About Ariella

  1. Dawn Dyson says:

    Hi Ariella – what I have read so far is informative and captivating. I’ve heard it said, or implied, that the potato famine wasn’t as much a famine as an act of war. Can I ask, after reading your bio and all your accomplishments, why Ireland for your first novel? It certainly has a way of drawing the heart. I wish you much success!

    • a says:

      Dawn,
      Thank you for the kind words. In response to your question, the Famine may have resulted from an act of nature (or God), but its impact was so profound because the British had reduced the Irish poor to nothing more than slaves in their own land. Was that an act of war? Not legally and there’s actually some interesting legal work on whether Ireland was ever ‘conquered’ as lawyers define that term. On the other hand, there were legal opinions after WWII which held companies (such as Krups in Germany) liable for damages relating to their enslavement of factory workers. That would be the kind of analogy the Irish would look to in a civil suit for Famine related damages (even at this late date, a claim could be brought just as it could on behalf of American slaves).
      Why Ireland for my first book? Well, my family’s Irish (County Offaly, but they left after the Famine) and I LOVE the country, so taking trips there for research was no hardship! I also did an independent study with an English prof. in law school on Irish land law and came close to undertaking some post-law school study in Dublin afterwards (but, alas, my law school debts beckoned, so that never came to pass). The novel (and its sequel) has a lot of Catholic theology in it – another interest of mine.
      Thanks, again, for the kind words!

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