Nathalie Babel was the daughter of Isaac Babel, the great Russian-Jewish writer. She was born in Paris to Isaac’s long-suffering first wife Evgenia Gronfein. Although Nathalie’s only personal memory of Isaac was a brief moment when she was five years old, she grew up to become the most dedicated scholar of his work. Nathalie was also an accomplished scholar of Slavic Studies more broadly. She had degrees from the Sorbonne and Columbia and taught at Barnard College and universities in Texas, California, and Ottawa.