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Debra M. Ginsberg (born June 15, 1962) is a London born, American author. She is the author of three memoirs as well as two novels. Her first memoir Waiting: The True Confessions of a Waitress was published by HarperCollins Publishers in 2000, followed by Raising Blaze: A Mother and Son's Long, Strange Journey Into Autism, which chronicled her longtime struggle to get her son the education he was entitled to.

Early life

Debra Michelle Ginsberg was born June 15, 1962, in London, England In her youth the Ginsberg family moved frequently between, Europe, America and South Africa. Settling in America in the 1970s. They moved back and forth from New York to the West Coast before eventually settling in Portland, Oregon. Ginsberg attended Lake Oswego High School and decided to stay in Portland and attended Reed College, a liberal arts college in Portland's Eastmoreland neighborhood.

The family finally settled in San Diego, California, in 1988. She gave birth to her son, also a writer, Blaze Ginsberg (Episodes, Roaring Brook Press, NY, NY. 2009) in 1987.


Ginsberg spent twenty years waiting tables. Those years were the basis of her first book, the memoir Waiting: The True Confessions of a Waitress, published in 2000 by HarperCollins Publishers, NY. The book struck a chord and was a surprise hit, launching Ginsberg into the national spotlight. Publisher's Weekly wrote, "[Ginsberg] conveys the unpredictability and humanity of this humble but essential work. While the Associated Press said, "This book is more than a saga about workplace woes...Ginsberg relives her personal struggle, waiting for her life to happen."

Her second memoir, Raising Blaze; A Mother and Son's Long, Strange Journey Into Autism (2002), of which The Kirkus review wrote, "A stirring record of a mother's battle fought with zest, humor, and love." Raising Blaze was followed by About My Sisters (2004), in which Ginsberg chronicled life as one of three sisters (and a brother) from a large family, brought up by, less than conventional, parents. It was a Denver Post Bestseller and published to sterling reviews. The triptych provides an insightful look at a large, outspoken, modern American family.

After three memoirs Ginsberg tried her hand at fiction publishing Blind Submission (Shaye Arehart, Crown 2006), a New York Times Editor's Choice and once again managing to garner favorable attention from national reviewers. The Grift followed in 2008 to even greater critical acclaim and was chosen as a New New York Times Notable Book.

Ginsberg has worked for various literary agencies and enjoys a second career as a book editor. She has been a frequent reviewer for the San Diego Union Tribune and has reviewed for the Washington Post. She is a regular reviewer for Shelf Awareness, a major publishing industry newsletter and has done commentary for National Public Radio.

Ginsberg is currently working on her third novel.



Waiting: The True Confessions of a Waitress 2000

Raising Blaze: A Mother and Son's Long, Strange Journey Into Autism (2002)

About My Sisters (2004)


Blind Submission (2006)

The Grift (2008)

Further Reading

Episodes: My Life As I See It, Blaze Ginsberg, Roaring Book Press, NY, NY, 2009.



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