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About the Author

Margalit Fox is a New York Times journalist originally trained as a linguist. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in linguistics from Stony Brook University and a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Through her mentor at Stony Brook, the distinguished linguist Mark Aronoff, she first became aware of the remarkable "signing village" of Al-Sayyid, the community at the heart of Talking Hands. Margalit is one of only a few journalists in the world to have set foot in the village, and the only one to publish firsthand reporting on its extraordinary life and language.

At The Times, Margalit is a reporter in the celebrated Obituary News department, where she has written send-offs of some of the leading cultural figures of our era, including the pioneering feminist Betty Friedan, the literary critic Wayne C. Booth and the philosopher Paul Ricoeur. She has also written the obituaries of many of the unsung heroes who have managed, quietly, to touch history, among them the man who invented the crash-test dummy, the textile conservator who washed Napoleon’s nightshirt and the home economist who invented Stove Top Stuffing.

Reprinted in newspapers throughout North America and around the world, Margalit’s work has been anthologized in Best Newspaper Writing, 2005 and elsewhere. She is also featured in The Dead Beat (HarperCollins, 2006), the recent popular book by Marilyn Johnson about the pleasures of obituaries.

Previously an editor at The New York Times Book Review, Margalit has written numerous articles on language, culture and ideas for The Times, New York Newsday, Variety and other publications. She lives in Manhattan with her husband, the writer and critic George Robinson.

Talking Hands is her first book.