About Alina Tugend
Alina Tugend has been a journalist for almost 30 years. She started her career at United Press International in Providence, Rhode Island and has worked as a journalist in Washington, DC, Southern California, London and New York.
Some of Alina’s major stories include: the tragic impact of nuclear waste poisoning in Chelyabinsk, one of the “secret” cities in the former Soviet Union; the puzzling clusters of teenage suicide in a Colorado town; and the courageous efforts to create a “peace” university in Northern Ireland.
Since 2005, she has written the biweekly ShortCuts column for The New York Times business section. Her personal finance columns received a Best in Business award in 2011 from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.
A number of her columns have also been published in the first and second editions of The New York Times Practical Guide to Practically Everything.
Better by Mistake is her first book. Alina lives outside of New York City with her husband and two sons.
Alina also loves to read and to share and discover new books.
Hear from Alina as to why she chose to write this entertaining book.
I chose to write a book on the topic of mistakes because I was fascinated by the research I discovered just when writing my relatively brief ShortCuts column. Then the response from readers was amazing. Overall, virtually everyone who wrote to me sounded grateful that I had shed light on this subject. It made me realize, that in a world where we’re too often told that “failure is not an option” most people – including myself- are hungry to hear that yes, we all make mistakes and that really is ok. And, in fact, if we don’t something is wrong. It’s perfection that’s not an option.
But I wrote the book not just to mouth these platitudes, because we hear them all our lives and generally don’t believe them. I wrote it because I wanted to really understand why so many of us are so afraid of mistakes- to see what psychological research has shown, to learn what those whose mistakes can cause someone to die, such as doctors and pilots,have discovered about approaches to mistakes, to learn why men and women seem to differ in their responses to mistakes and, in particular, what other cultures can teach us.
Although authoring this book may seem to be something of a career change, it really isn’t. I have always liked to look behind what common wisdom says -on any topic, be it environment, education or politics – and then explain complex issues in a way that people can relate to. And maybe even help all of us learn to be a little more insightful and understanding about others and ourselves.