The New York Times Hollywood correspondent fills in the blanks for The Forward. Some snippets:
Waxman was born into an Orthodox family in the Cleveland suburb of University Heights, Ohio, where she had what she termed an "old-style Jewish education," studying at a Hebrew day school with the same group of 20 girls from kindergarten through 12th grade. After graduation, Waxman, like many young Orthodox, went to Israel for a year of study....
After college, graduate study at Oxford and some time in Egypt, Waxman took an internship on the Washington Post's foreign desk. With the outbreak of the first intifada in 1987, she determined that the Middle East, and not some quiet desk, was where she needed to be. "In the course of three weeks I literally dropped everything and moved to Jerusalem," she said. Though she had no job prospects when she left, as a speaker of both Hebrew and Arabic, she proved irresistible to potential employers. Within days of her arrival, she landed a job with Reuters, one she held for the next two years.
At a dinner party hosted by Israel's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Waxman met her future husband, a French businessman named Claude Memmi. Waxman moved to Paris in 1989 and spent the next six years writing from Europe on a freelance basis for a variety of American outlets — the Forward among them.
Waxman tried for years, with little success, to secure a full-time writing job. But when the Washington Post, for which she had been working on an informal basis, offered her a newly-created position in Los Angeles, it came as something of a shock. "I had been looking for a job in the States," she said, "but had assumed it would be on the East Coast. I'd never even been to Los Angeles before."
Defamer posts that she signs her book, Rebels on the Backlot: Six Maverick Directors and How They Conquered the Hollywood Studio System, tonight at Book Soup.