Debra Ollivier is the author of the national bestselling What French Women Know: About Love, Sex, and Other Matters of the Heart and Mind (Penguin) and Entre Nous: A Woman's Guide to Finding Her Inner French Girl (St. Martin's Press). Her work is also published in the bestselling anthologies Mothers Who Think: Tales of Real-Life Parenthood (Villard) and Because I Said So: 33 Mothers Write About Children, Sex, Men, Aging, Faith, Race & Themselves (Harper Perennial). She has written for numerous publications, including The New York Times, Harper's Magazine, Playboy, Parents Magazine, The Guardian, Le Monde and Les Inrockuptibles. A former contributor to Salon, she launched a lifestyle vertical for The Huffington Post and worked on staff as a contributing editor, writing extensively about a broad range of subjects.
In addition to her own writing, Debra offers a range of editorial services and is a former acquisitions editor for Parallax Press, a nonprofit publisher founded by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. She has also assisted in making several big ideas happen, including the launch of the first TED conference with Richard Wurman and the Social Venture Network. A dual citizen, she lived in Paris 10+ years and maintains close ties with France.
Debra was raised in Los Angeles by New Yorkers who headed west to seek their bliss and stopped in California when there was no more west left. Both parents were big in the human potential movement and happily partook in the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. Debra longed for a vanilla family but grew up with a Ben & Jerry’s experiment.
An obsessive journaler and book nerd at a young age, Debra graduated from UCLA and the Sorbonne with a degree in French literature. She worked as a freelance writer in France, where she had two kids, studied the local flora and fauna up close, and wrote about French culture and the glorious vexations of parenting. She also traveled throughout Europe and into parts of Africa (including Timbuktu, which she had erroneously assumed was a mythical place).
Debra currently lives in Los Angeles.
Grappling with writer's block, age four.