- Born December 5, 1912 in Warsaw, Poland. Immigrated to the U.S. in 1917 and became a
naturalized citizen. Given name, Kaila Grobsmith. Died (cancer) February 5, 1990,
Manhattan, New York.
- Married Robert Simon in 1947 (divorced, 1960).
- B.A. , 1935, Hunter College, City University of New York.
- Writer of autobiography and distinguished travel guides, including the best seller New
York Places and Pleasures: An Uncommon Guidebook.
- Worked for Book-of-the-Month Club, Publishers Weekly, New Republic, and Nation.
Also contributed widely to periodicals including New York Times, Vogue, Harpers
, National Geographic, and Travel and Leisure.
- The National Book Critics Circle named Bronx Primitive among the most
distinguished books of 1982.
Bronx Primitive: Portraits in a Childhood. 1982.
A Wider World: Portraits in an Adolescence. 1986.
New York Places and Pleasures: An Uncommon Guidebook (1971)
Parallel volumes on Mexico (1984), Paris (1967), London (1968), and Rome (1972).
Italy: the Places In Between. 1984.
Englands Green and Pleasant Land (1974)
Fifth Avenue: A Very Social History (1978)
Critical Sources and Reviews
- Interview, June 23, 1986, Contemporary Authors, Volume 127.
- Some reviews of Bronx Primitive:
Ms., June 1982
New York Times, May 23, 1982, May 24, 1982, February 5, 1990
Publishers Weekly, May 14, 1982
Washington Post, May 11, 1982
Retired Discussion Series