Clara Silverstein

Clara Silverstein

Clara visits the White House Garden


Clara Silverstein is the author of four books and a long-time writer in the Boston area. She also teaches at Grub Street, Inc., consults with individual writers, and tutors students in History and English. Since 2008, she has directed the Chautauqua Writers' Center, a series of creative writing workshops and author programs at the Chautauqua Institution.

Clara’s memoir White Girl: A Story of School Desegregation (University of Georgia Press) was released in paperback in 2013. It chronicles her experiences as a white child bused to predominantly African-American schools in the 1970s under a court desegregation order in Richmond, Virginia. She has spoken about this experience to educational groups around the country, participated in dialogues about race, and interviewed others about their experiences during busing.

Clara's most recent cookbook, A White House Garden Cookbook (Red Rock Press), looks at the many ways that First Lady Michelle Obama is inspiring a nation of healthy eaters. Starting with lettuce, tomatoes, and dozens more crops at the White House, the book is filled with ideas to get children and families excited about harvesting and cooking locally grown vegetables. Recipes come from past and present White House kitchens, as well as kid-friendly community gardens nationwide.

Clara's first cookbook, The Boston Chef’s Table (Globe Pequot Press), presents more than 100 contemporary recipes from the city's top chefs, including Jody Adams, Todd English, Barbara Lynch, and Ming Tsai – plus a few traditional favorites. Customized for home cooks, the recipes are printed with a profile about each chef, cooking hints, and Boston food lore.

Clara is also co-author of The New England Soup Factory Cookbook (Thomas Nelson), a collection of recipes from chef and company founder Marjorie Druker. A top seller in the soup and stew category on, the book offers 100 traditional and creative soup recipes, as well as sandwiches and salads from Marjorie's award-winning restaurant.

A journalist for more than 20 years, Clara has published articles in Health magazine, Prevention, Runner's World, American Heritage, and the Boston Globe. Formerly a food writer at the Boston Herald daily newspaper, Clara for 13 years informed readers about the city’s chefs, restaurants, and food trends. She also contributed to the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America. Her poems and essays have been published in many literary journals.

Clara recently completed an M.A. in History from the University of Massachusetts Boston. When not writing, Clara runs with far more enthusiasm than speed. She finished the 2008 Boston Marathon with a team that raised money for Bottom Line, a charity that helps disadvantaged Boston students go to college. She has also finished two other marathons, plus several triathlons, shorter road races, and the Reach the Beach relay race. Clara and her husband live near Boston and are the parents of two children.

Selected Works

A white student’s story from the front lines of school desegregation. "A skilled, moving account."
A chronicle with recipes of the first season of Michelle Obama's vegetable garden at the White House. “A charming volume...aimed at families with young children, with colorful pages that explain the vegetables.” - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
More than 100 recipes for contemporary cuisine and traditional favorites from Boston's top chefs
Recipes from Chef Marjorie Druker, founder of the New England Soup Factory. "An instant classic, a must-have for soup lovers" - Publishers Weekly