Perri Klass is Professor of Journalism and Pediatrics at New York University. She attended Harvard Medical School and completed her residency in pediatrics at Children's Hospital, Boston, and her fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases at Boston City Hospital.
Klass serves as National Medical Director of Reach Out and Read, a national nonprofit which promotes early literacy through doctors and nurses who provide primary care to young children at nearly 5,000 clinics, health centers, hospitals, and doctor's offices in all 50 states. Through her work with Reach Out and Read, Perri has been able to integrate her commitment to the health care of young children with her love of the written word. In an essay on the program, she wrote, "When I think about children growing up in homes without books, I have the same visceral reaction as I have when I think of children in homes without milk or food or heat: It cannot be, it must not be. It stunts them and deprives them before they've had a fair chance."
Klass has written extensively about medicine, children, literacy, and knitting. Her nonfiction includes Every Mother is a Daughter: the Neverending Quest for Success, Inner Peace, and a Really Clean Kitchen, which she coauthored with her mother, and Quirky Kids: Understanding and Helping Your Child Who Doesn't Fit In, which she coauthored with Eileen Costello. She is also the author two collections and other works of fiction, including the novels The Mystery of Breathing and Other Women's Children. Her most recent books are Treatment Kind and Fair: Letters to a Young Doctor and The Mercy Rule, which was released in July 2008, as well as revised editions of A Not Entirely Benign Procedure: Four Years as a Medical Student and Baby Doctor: A Pediatrician's Training released in 2010.
Her short stories have won five O. Henry Awards, and in 2006, she was the recipient of the Women's National Book Association Award. She is a longtime member of the executive board of PEN New England, which she chaired from 2004 to 2006.