Women Writers in Turtle Bay
By Terri Heveran
Turtle Bay has long been home to many of the literary types
who traditionally gravitate to New York. These include Kurt Vonnegut,
Henry Kissinger and Walter Cronkite, to name a few bright stars;
but we also have many who, while perhaps not quite so well known,
are actively and successfully engaged in their literary craft. Ferreting
them out is not easy - they tend to be rather private people - and
very busy people as well.
From Switzerland to Turtle Bay - with a few twists and turns along
the way - describes Edith Hornik-Beer's journey in life to date.
As a child she arrived with her family in New York and lived for
a time in the Waldorf before moving to Woodmere, Long Island, a
tiny rural town where she grew up enjoying such pleasures as horseback
After graduating with a B.S. degree from Simmons College in Boston,
Edith traveled back to Switzerland to earn another degree at the
University of Lausanne. One of her earliest published articles appeared
in Annabelle Magazine in Zurich in 1964.
Back in the United States, Edith married, moved to Connecticut,
had two children, and continued writing. She began doing a column
for teenagers, called "The Young World", and found that
so many young people had problems at home with parents addicted
to alcohol that this became a permanent interest. Several articles
appeared in the Sunday Hartford Courant Magazine, covering
such diverse subjects as secret Swiss bank accounts and problems
of alcoholism. Gradually, her writing began to appear in The
New York Times, Newsday, and Westchester Women's News,
and led to radio and TV appearances. She began giving courses and
lectures on the problems of senior citizens, alcoholism and the
family, and on writing. Her first full-length book was You and
Your Alcoholic Parent, published by Association Press in 1974.
Twenty years ago Edith moved back to Turtle Bay, and continued
her writing, specializing in the dynamics of alcoholism within a
family. Her latest book, published in 2001, is For Teenagers
Living With a Parent Who Abuses Alcohol/Drugs. She has a website,
covering much of the same material.
Edith is a big fan of Turtle Bay living, and makes good use of
the nearby libraries. She has written articles on the neighborhood,
one called Living Near The U.N. and Loving It (Usually).
She has been active in various writing groups in the area. But her
leisure interests are as varied as her writing - she still enjoys
horseback riding, and is an avid skier who spends part of each year
in Colorado. Wherever she is, she never stops writing!
Yvonne, who recently had a book signing at Barnes and Noble, came
to New York in the early '60s, fresh out of Washington University
in St. Louis, where she earned her bachelor's degree in nursing.
Her next stop was at Rutgers University College of Nursing, where
she eventually became a member of the faculty. She later enrolled
in New York University, where she earned a masters degree in group
psychology, counseling and communications. Subsequently, she was
made editor of the Journal of the American Physical Therapy Association
and a member of the American Medical Writers Association.
This background, while preparing her well for her current career
in individual and group counseling, also stood her in good stead
in 1996 when a routine yearly mammogram suddenly resulted in a diagnosis
of breast cancer. This personal experience, coupled with her knowledge
of psychology and medical practice, led her to share her thoughts
and reactions with other breast cancer patients, and culminated
in her first book You've Got a Friend.
The book is a varied compendium of wisdom, practical suggestions,
numerous relevant cartoons, and - blank pages! The last is for writing
or sketching your own thoughts as you read. Basically, the book
is devoted to Yvonne's philosophy - that we look for certainty in
a world where there is no certainty except for the power of love
to overcome obstacles.
It seems that Yvonne has overcome adversity in her own life, and
has in fact used it as a steppingstone to a whole new career. Her
experience brought out the writer in her, and she is now working
on another book for a wider audience. The subject is love, an extension
of her philosophy, but with a much broader scope than cancer patients.
She envisions it as a recipe for living fully.
Carol Ann Rinzler
Asked how she got started as a writer, Carol's quick answer is "I
got fired from a Fortune 500 company in 1975, and started writing
a diet book." From there she went on to do about 20 more books,
most of them on her specialty, food and nutrition. She has also
been a contributor to various publications, including The New
York Times and a variety of consumer magazines. She currently
writes a nutrition column for the Daily News.
Each of Carol's books is designed to explain and clarify technical
information for non-tech human beings, and this aim eventually led
her to write for the "Dummies" series. Her first venture
was Nutrition for Dummies, published in 1990 and again in
1997 by IDG Publishing; it became one of Amazon.com's ten best health
books in 1999, as well as an LA Times health bestseller. She went
on to do Weight Loss Kit for Dummies in 2001, and the latest
is Controlling Cholesterol for Dummies, just published by
Meanwhile, other important books on such diverse topics as health
issues, cosmetics, and medical folklore have flowed from Carol's
pen (or computer). One such, Estrogen and Breast Cancer: a Warning
to Women was first published in 1993 by Macmillan, and again
in 1996 by Hunter House. Recently this title is again much in demand
since the use of estrogen has become a controversial topic in the
How did Carol acquire all this expertise? Her original college
studies were in history at Finch College, and she earned a master's
degree in European history from Columbia. Later she became a "second
degree" student in chemistry at Hunter College, where she studied
for about six years.
Carol has lived in Turtle Bay for more than 24 years, and is a
long-time member of the Board of the Turtle Bay Association. She
enjoys participating in the civic life of the community as a "neat
break from typing all the time." She is married to Perry Luntz,
a wine and spirits writer, editor, and publisher, and they both
enjoy their amiable cat, named Kat.
Nancy Rubin Stuart
When Nancy Rubin Stuart arrived in Turtle Bay two and a half years
ago from Westchester County, she was already an established writer,
with at least four published books to her credit. She now freelances
for magazines and television while simultaneously working on two
new books - one a historical novel with a Victorian theme, and the
other a mystery story (the subject of which will remain a mystery
Nancy says she has been a writer all her life. After graduating
with an MA degree from Brown University, she attended the Bread
Loaf Writers Conference in Middlebury, Vermont, and then began writing
professionally for newspapers and other publications, including
Westchester News for The New York Times.
After the birth of her children she began work on her first book
- taking advantage of the milieu in which she was immersed. The
New Suburban Woman - Beyond Myth and Motherhood was published
in 1982 and was an immediate success, leading to another book in
1984, The Mother Mirror, subtitled "How a generation
of women is changing motherhood in America."
Next Nancy made an interesting switch - to historical biography,
building on her firsthand knowledge of women and their responses
to the culture in which they live. In 1991 Isabella of Castile
- The First Renaissance Queen was published, followed in 1995
by American Empress - The Life and Times of Marjorie Merriwether
Post. And now she is involved in chronicling the Victorian period
from a woman's viewpoint.
Nancy takes a very serious and disciplined attitude toward her
work, rising early every morning for a run before settling in for
a day's writing at home. Somehow she manages to shut out the usual
daily interruptions, and only varies her schedule for an occasional
day of research at the library, or a television appearance. She
was recently seen on the Arts and Entertainment channel doing commentary
for a program called Mansions, Monuments and Masterpieces
- about the history and architecture of Newport, R.I. - where she
was introduced as an author and "social historian." That
seems an apt description of her diverse talents to date, but we'll
soon have to add "mystery writer" to her dossier.
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