Erika Tamar Biography

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(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Erika Tamar was born in Vienna, Austria, on June 10, 1934. The daughter of a doctor and a housewife, Tamar is the mother of three and lives now in New York City. She has worked as a casting director for TV serials, a freelance writer, an actress and a director of community theater. A member of the Author's Guild and Society of Children's Bookwriters, she has won several awards for her fiction for young adults.

Tamar and her older brother were refugees from the Nazis when she and he came to the United States in 1939 with a B'nai B'rith rescue effort. She holds "the movies" responsible for her subsequent Americanization.

Tamar majored in English at New York University. She says she has been a reader and storyteller for as long as she can recall. The young adult novels her children brought home inspired her current career; along with reader and storyteller, Tamar is now pleased to call herself a writer. Tamar says that her fiction is quasi-autobiographical. For instance, Blues for Silk Garcia grew from a love of jazz and from her daughter's facility with classical guitar.