Zuckoff, Mitchell 1962-
ZUCKOFF, Mitchell 1962-
Born 1962, in Brooklyn, NY; son of Sid (a history teacher) and Gerry (a bookkeeper) Zuckoff; married Suzanne Kreiter (a newspaper photographer); children: two daughters. Education: University of Rhode Island, B.A. (summa cum laude), 1983; University of Missouri, M.A. (journalism), 1987.
Home—14 Ridge Rd., Newton, MA 02468. Office—Boston University School of Communications, Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA. Agent—Richard Abate, ICM, 40 West 57th St., New York, NY 10019. E-mail—[email protected].
Journalist and author. Bridgeport Post, Bridgeport, CT, bureau chief, 1983-84; Associated Press, New York, NY, wire service reporter, 1984-87; States News Service, Washington, DC, Washington reporter, 1987-88; Boston Globe, Boston, MA, business reporter, then national and investigative reporter, 1989—. Batten fellow, University of Virginia—Darden, 2003-04; member of journalism faculty, Boston University, 2003—.
Benjamin Fine Award, 1992; Heywood Broun Award, 1994; Livingston Award for International Reporting, 1995; Pulitzer Prize finalist, 1997; Associated Press Managing Editors' Award for Public Service, 1998; National Media Award, American Association on Mental Retardation, Media Award, National Down Syndrome Congress, Distinguished Writing Award, American Society of Newspaper Editors, Christopher Award, and Tash Image Award, all 2000, all for "Choosing Naia: A Family's Journey" (newspaper series).
Choosing Naia: A Family's Journey, Beacon Press (Boston, MA), 2002.
(With Dick Lehr) Judgment Ridge: The True Story Behind the Dartmouth Murders, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2003.
WORK IN PROGRESS:
A book on Charles Ponzi, tentatively titled Ponzi: The Greatest American Schemer, for Random House, expected publication in 2005.
Mitchell Zuckoff is a journalist whose multi-award-winning newspaper series about a couple's decision not to abort a child with Down syndrome inspired his 2002 book, Choosing Naia: A Family's Journey. Chronicling interracial couple Greg and Tierney Fairchilds' five-year journey after discovering that their child would be born with a heart defect, Zuckoff examines the complex emotional, moral, and medical issues raised as a result of the technological advances in prenatal testing, while also painting a sensitive portrait of two people who must make difficult moral judgments and ultimately chose a difficult, heartbreaking path in deciding to raise a disabled child. The Fairchilds are unusual; faced with a similar prognosis for their unborn fetus, ninety percent of American couples chose to abort.
In Booklist contributor Vanessa Bush praised Zuckoff's "searing" account of the Fairchilds' predicament as "an inspiring look at one family that offers profound lessons for us all." Noting that Zuckoff's subject remained centered due to the fact that the Fairchilds are pro-choice with regard to the abortion issue, Library Journal contributor KellyJo Houtz Griffin found Choosing Naia to be valuable in particular for detailing the ironic "heartbreak that arises when modern medicine's astounding ability to identify problems" clashes with "its inability to do anything about them." Taking a different slant, a Publishers Weekly contributor cited Zuckoff's book as "At once a powerful argument against abortion and an eye-opening look at how a functional couple handles an extremely vexing decision." Noting that "Zuckoff doesn't shrink from pointing out the hardships and sadness of raising a disabled child," New York Times Book Review contributor Maggie Jones dubbed Choosing Naia "a refreshing tale in an age in which medical technology encourages us to strive for perfection in ourselves and in our children."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, October 15, 2002, Vanessa Bush, review of Choosing Naia: A Family's Journey, p. 369.
Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2002, review of Choosing Naia, p. 1022.
Library Journal, August, 2002, KellyJo Houtz Griffin, review of Choosing Naia, p. 132.
New York Times Book Review, December 15, 2002, Maggie Jones, "A Diagnosis Is Not a Name," p. 26.
Publishers Weekly, June 3, 2002, review of Choosing Naia, p. 73.
Batten Institute Web site,http://www.darden.edu/batten/ (January 21, 2003), "Mitchell Zuckoff."