Tintori, Karen (Jillian Karr, a joint pseudonym, Karen A. Katz)

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Tintori, Karen (Jillian Karr, a joint pseudonym, Karen A. Katz)


Married; children: two. Education: Wayne State University, B.A.


Home—MI. Agent—Sally Wofford-Girand, Sally Wofford-Girand Literary Agency, Brickhouse Literary Agents, 80 5th Ave., Ste. 1101-03, New York, NY 10011.


Has worked for New York (magazine), as an assistant editor for the FTD Florist (magazine), and in public relations.


(As Karen A. Katz, with E.B. Freedman and Jan Greenberg) What Does Being Jewish Mean: Read-Aloud Responses to Questions Jewish Children Ask about History, Culture, and Religion, Prentice Hall Press (New York, NY), 1991.

Trapped: The 1909 Cherry Mine Disaster, Atria Books (New York, NY), 2002.

(With Jill Gregory) The Book of Names (novel), St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2007.

Unto the Daughters: The Legacy of an Honor Killing in a Sicilian-American Family (memoir), St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2007.


Something Borrowed, Something Blue, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1993.

Catch Me If You Can, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1996.


Something Borrowed, Something Blue was made into a CBS-TV movie.


Karen Tintori is an author who has also written as Karen A. Katz, and under the joint pseudonym Jillian Karr with her friend and collaborator, Jill Gregory. In her nonfiction book Trapped: The 1909 Cherry Mine Disaster, Tintori tells the story of 480 coal miners trapped in a 1909 Illinois mine disaster resulting from the worst coal mine fire in the history of the United States. Tintori has a special association with the disaster because her grandfather should have died in the fire but stayed home because he had a hangover. The author explores how the miners, who included both men and young boys, fought to survive, focusing primarily on twenty-one survivors who were sealed off in another part of the mine in attempt to put the fire out. Also examined is the horrendous suffering of the dead miners' surviving families, who were unable to recover the bodies until the following spring. "Tintori's graphic account of this tragedy is a sad but gripping story," reported George Cohen in Booklist. In the Library Journal Daniel Liestman felt that the author "has presented a very accessible and gripping account of a human tragedy."

Tintori teamed with Jill Gregory to write The Book of Names. The novel revolves around David Shepard, who has a near-death experience that leads to his suddenly thinking about various names. He begins writing the names down, and before long he has a list of thousands of names. However, when his stepdaughter's name appears on the list David decides to investigate what this strange phenomenon is all about. Eventually, he encounters a mysterious and malevolent cult called Gnoseos, which kills certain people to make sure that the world remains unbalanced. Their devious plot is based on the Jewish tradition that thirty-six people are born during each generation to help support the universal laws. David realizes that the names he has written down are the cult's victims or victims-to-come. He then joins archaeologist Yael HarPaz to fight the group and try to save his stepdaughter. "Convincing characters and a rapidly moving plot combine to create an enjoyable religious thriller," wrote Joy St. John in her Library Journal assessment. Several reviewers also commented on the authors' ability to create a fascinating mystery. For example, a Kirkus Reviews contributor wrote: "Attentive readers will particularly relish the crossword-puzzle aspect of the denouement." A contributor to the Economist concluded that "The Book of Names self-assuredly fulfills the requirements of the religious thriller in terms of characterisation, plot and pace."



Tintori, Karen, Unto the Daughters: The Legacy of an Honor Killing in a Sicilian-American Family, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2007.


American History, February 1, 2003, review of Trapped: The 1909 Cherry Mine Disaster, p. 61.

Booklist, September 1, 2002, George Cohen, review of Trapped, p. 52; December 15, 2006, Ilene Cooper, review of The Book of Names, p. 25.

Books, February 4, 2007, review of The Book of Names, p. 8.

Chicago Sun Times, February 4, 2007, Cathleen Falsani, "Spiritual Thriller Flying off Shelves; Da Vinci Code-esque Novel Has Local Ties."

Economist, January 13, 2007, "Watch Out Dan Brown; New Fiction 3," review of The Book of Names, p. 76.

Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2002, review of Trapped, p. 1020; October 1, 2006, review of The Book of Names, p. 978.

Library Journal, August, 2002, Daniel Liestman, review of Trapped, p. 119; October 15, 2006, Joy St. John, review of The Book of Names, p. 51.

Publishers Weekly, July 8, 2002, review of Trapped, p. 42; October 16, 2006, review of The Book of Names, p. 33.

Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), April 27, 2003, review of Trapped, p. 3.


Karen Tintori Home Page,http://www.karentintori.com (April 25, 2007).