Bio

Ilyon Woo has been obsessed with the Shakers since childhood, when her design-crazed parents began taking her on tours of Shaker villages.  (See a video of her father’s work, featured in the Architectural Record, here.)

Her first book, The Great Divorce, is the true story of a nineteenth-century mother’s fight to recapture her children from this celibate Utopian sect.  The Great Divorce has garnered attention from national media outlets such as NPR (“The Diane Rehm Show,” “All Things Considered”), The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, and the The New York Times.

Ilyon holds a B.A. in the Humanities from Yale College and a Ph.D. in English from Columbia University.  She lives in New York City.