Karen Stabiner is a best-selling author and journalist who tackles family and parenting issues with wit, candor and a healthy dose of skepticism. In her new novel, Getting In, Stabiner writes about the biggest challenge of all: getting a child into the perfect college.
With a survivor’s wit and a journalist’s eye, Getting In tells the story of five Los Angeles high school seniors and their parents as they navigate the obstacle course that is college admissions. Getting In follows these interconnected families—three at the tony Crestview School, two at its public counterpart, Ocean Heights High—in their pursuit of a fat envelope from their favorite schools. But the college application process is full of surprises, and each family has to scramble as their best-laid plans start to crumble. Ultimately, everyone—moms, dads, and applicants—discovers what the admissions process is really about: growing up.
The Empty Nest: 31 Parents Tell the Truth About Relationships, Love and Freedom After the Kids Fly the Coop is a provocative collection of essays about what really happens when a child leaves home, “packed with hard-earned wisdom and snippets of advice,” says People. Stabiner assembled writers with a wide range of experience – nuclear-family moms and dads, single parents, step-parents, parents whose children left, and some whose children came back – to present a definitive portrait of this shared transition.
Stabiner’s My Girl: Adventures with a Teen in Training, a finalist for the Books for a Better Life Award, uses a combination of personal experience and compelling research to dismantle the myth of the miserable teen. Stabiner breaks through negative media portrayals of adolescent girls, and equally damaging images of perfection, to present a more balanced look at today’s tweens and teens. An intimate portrait that provides advice along the way on everything from cliques to the wardrobe wars, My Girl is what Jamie Lee Curtis calls “a wonderful girl guide – a gentle road map through the State of Adolescence.” It was recently released in paperback as Reclaiming Our Daughters.
In All Girls: Single-Sex Education and Why It Matters Stabiner talks about how we educate the next generation of women, chronicling the experiences of girls at two very different schools – the 112-year-old Marlborough School in Los Angeles, a private school for grades 7-12, and The Young Women’s Leadership School of East Harlem, a new public school for poor and minority girls. It also examines the history of education in this country – and provides parents with essential advice on how to guarantee their girls a great education, whether they go to a single-sex or co-ed school.
Her landmark book about breast cancer, a New York Times Notable Book, To Dance With the Devil: The New War on Breast Cancer remains a provocative analysis of the relationship between women, their doctors, the research establishment, and the politicians who dispense research funding.
Stabiner is the author of four other books: The Valentino Cookbook (2001); Inventing Desire: Inside Chiat/Day: The Hottest Shop, the Coolest Players, the Big Business of Advertising (1993); Courting Fame: The Perilous Road to Women`s Tennis Stardom (1986), and the novel Limited Engagements (1979). She is a regular contributor to The Los Angeles Times and her work has appeared in O: The Oprah Magazine, Vogue, The New York Times, Los Angeles Magazine and The New Yorker. Her food writing has appeared in Gourmet, Saveur, Travel & Leisure, and in the 2002 and 2005 anthologies of The Best Food Writing. In 2006 she was a finalist for the James Beard Award in magazine writing.
At the podium, Stabiner’s refreshing combination of humor and hard fact makes her an accessible, entertaining advocate for new ideas about how we get along with our children and help them succeed at the transition from high school to college. Her work on parent/child relationships spans the tween years through adulthood and gives her a unique perspective. She is a fierce advocate for our daughters, and an informed optimist about the American family. She offers a fresh, informed perspective on topics ranging from early adolescence to the empty nest, challenging many popular assumptions about every aspect of the parent/child relationship. And she supplies her listeners with the information and advice they need to go home and make things work.
She now lives in Santa Monica, California, with her husband, Larry Dietz, and their daughter, Sarah.