About the Author


Miriam comes to writing through her DNA, as her aunt for whom she was named was a prolific author of children’s literature and Judaica. Most of Miriam’s writing derives from her years of anthropological field research in Africa and Asia, and most publications focus on poverty and hunger alleviation, gender equity, and the welfare of children. Her most widely read publication to date is her article on the perils of field research No Heads, No Feet, No Monkeys, No Dogs: The Evolution of my Personal Food Taboos which has been published and republished. Despite her aversion to a few foods noted in the title, she can boast having eaten more unusual foods than most, including monitor lizard, antelope, and zebra.

After extensive research on three continents, she pivoted in her focus to an exotic village in New York. Three members of Miriam’s family were long-time residents of the Westbeth Artists’ Residence in the West Village, which opened doors when she turned her anthropological gaze to this community. After three decades of research in villages in sub-Saharan Africa, she realized that Westbeth is a vertical village, with all the drama and intrigue of any village. Her book Creative Ozone: The Artists of Westbeth recounts the history of the Westbeth building, and focuses on the intriguing characters that called Westbeth home.

She has retired from her day job to write full time, and is Dean Emeritus of the Conroy Honors College and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at New Mexico State University. She lives with her husband and fellow anthropologist Tom Conelly in southern New Mexico with their rescue dog Subie, and her answer to the state question is green (chile, that is).