What can I tell you about me? I was born and raised in New Jersey. My dad worked in the family plumbing business, and my mom took claims at the local unemployment office, then worked her way up in corporate America. The Sisters of Charity educated me, and some were in fact charitable. At home I had two younger sisters and two Doberman Pincers, beloved sweet girls, all.
I decided to become a writer when I was twelve. A poet, I thought, or perhaps a novelist, or journalist. I wasn’t sure. After college, I freelanced for national and regional magazines and newspapers. I eventually began writing nonfiction books because real life is so unbelievable, and I have a lot of questions.
Next, I wrote a memoir about my quest to find a long lost family recipe. It was a project that conveniently required travel to Italy. The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken (2007) was featured in Saveur, Food and Wine, Good Housekeeping, Elle, Entertainment Weekly, NPR, and Reader’s Digest. It was selected as a Newsday Cookbook of the Year, and Newsweek called it “a feast for the mind and the heart, as well as the palate.” The time I spent exploring Genoa and learning from pasta makers there was a joy beyond measure.
My latest book takes a new direction. It came about when, perhaps symbolically, I was selling a vintage stove. The woman who came to buy it told me she brought over greyhounds from Ireland who needed homes. We became friends and eventually, she and my husband convinced me to adopt an Irish sight hound named Lily for my animal-loving oldest son. Through Lily, I met Marion Fitzgibbon in Ireland and many animal rescue people around the world. For the most part, I thought they were out of their minds. And yet, I was fascinated by their passion and sense of justice for those who cannot speak for themselves. The world is radically changing its views of animals. Who were these people who were leading the way?
The Dogs of Avalon: The Race To Save Animals in Peril, will be published by W.W. Norton, August 22, 2017. Kirkus has called it “an engrossing account of greyhounds, their owners, and their champions.” The Bark has said it “merits high praise and appreciation.” Library Journal writes that “Schenone’s lovely prose captivates” and “. . . in Fitzgibbon, readers have a true animal champion.” The book has received blurbs from scientists and writers Marc Bekoff, Greogory Bern, Frans De Waal, Christina Baker Kline, Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, and Dale Russakoff.
I live with my family in New Jersey, where I love to read, grow vegetables in my front yard, walk Lily, and spend time with my family and friends.