The daughter of a Tanzanian mother and an American father, both documentary filmmakers, Clea was born in London and spent her childhood in England, Tanzania, Kenya, and the United States. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Anthropology from Stanford University, was trained by Dr. Walt Birkby in the Master's program in forensic anthropology at the University of Arizona, and earned a Master's degree in Anthropology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Between 1996 and 2000, Clea worked as a forensic expert for the United Nations International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda (ICTR) and the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The Bone Woman, first published in 2004 and now published in ten languages and more than 14 countries, is a memoir of those experiences.
Clea went on to co-coordinate the Anthropology Laboratory of the United Nations Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus in 2006, working on behalf of Equipo Argentino de Antropologia Forense. She also founded the US non-profit Missing Persons Identification Resource Center (MPID), which was profiled by Judy Muller on ABC World News Tonight Weekend.
Clea now writes fiction. Her first mystery novel, Freezing , was published in the United States and the United Kingdom in 2011 and in translation in France in 2012. SURFACING, Clea's new novel featuring Jayne Hall and Steelie Lander of Agency 32/1, will be published in French by Éditions Héloïse d’Ormesson.
Audiovisual rights to SURFACING have been sold to Patma Productions.
Freezing is available in bookstores and online. For more information and reviews of Freezing, please visit: www.cleakoff.com.
Author portrait: Copyright © David Ignaszewski
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