Born Under an Assumed Name was selected as a finalist for the 2012 Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Award.

Sara's Hokkaido talk on growing up as a spy's daughter was featured in a Japanese newspaper on April 16th.


Sara Mansfield Taber is a writer of creative nonfiction: essay, memoir, and literary journalism. A long-time teacher, she offers writing classes in the Washington D.C. area and around the country. Sara Taber is also an experienced editor. She provides writers with a range of services, from basic editing, to book shaping and book proposal design. She also offers structure and coaching to help writers get their work done.

Please click on the toolbar to learn more about Sara Taber's writing, teaching, and editing. Also note the advice page, with book recommendations for writers and other tips on the writer's craft.

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BORN UNDER AN ASSUMED NAME: The Memoir of a Cold War Spy's Daughter by Sara Mansfield Taber

Book Trailer

Growing up in a string of different countries can be tough as well as exotic. Sara Mansfield Taber found the experience even more unsettling because she was the daughter of a covert CIA agent. In this moving, lyrical memoir, Taber captures the painful journey as she ― and her adored father ― struggle to understand who they are and what it means to be an American.


The sensory and emotional detail of this memoir is as delicately wrought as bone china, yet saved from fragility by Sara Taber’s uncompromising journey deeper and deeper inward with every page...a beautiful, mysterious, and unexpectedly suspenseful story of the struggle to find a place in the world.

-William O’Sullivan, features editor, The Washingtonian Magazine

Sara Mansfield Taber has worked magic with this intoxicating memoir of her exotic childhood. With a child’s innocence and sensitivity, Sara composes her family’s haunting story, stroke by exquisitely beautiful stroke. This vibrant family portrait of love and heart-ache also reveals much about America—our passion, confusion, contradictions, and especially, the tragedy we bring upon the world despite our very best intentions.

-Mary Stucky,National Public Radio

Selected Works

A story of growing up in the world of espionage
"A poignant chronicle of the diaspora of the heart--and the heart's quest and longing for that universal place called home." Wall Street Journal
Opinion/Cultural Commentary
In Britain or France my aging mother would have gotten better health care.
An exploration of Argentina’s past tyrannies, and my own
Literary Journalism
"...One of the most compelling, knowledgeable, and graceful books about the French soul that has ever been written by an American." -Richard Goodman, author of French Dirt: The Story of a Garden in the South of France
"The stories remain...etched in the reader's mind, etched as if by the harsh wind of Patagonia itself. Extraordinarily fine writing." -St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"An eloquent essay." -New York Times