Aja Raden studied ancient history and physics at the University of Chicago and, during that time, worked as the head of the auction division at famed House of Kahn Estate Jewelers. For more than seven years, she worked as a senior designer for Los Angeles-based fine jewelry company Tacori. Raden is an experienced jeweler and a trained scientist. She lives in Beverly Hills, California.
"[Stoned] romps through the stories of eight jewels." -- New York Times "A lively, incisive cultural and social history." -- Kirkus "History enthusiasts will be entertained by Raden's knowledge of famous names as well as her narrative approach to the topic. Occasional injections of humor will keep readers interested." -- Library Journal "Raden's commentary on the often ugly side of human desire through the ages is consistently captivating, and her witty delivery makes the material shine." -- Publishers Weekly "Riveting, erudite." -- MORE Magazine "Raden brings impeccable credentials to the task at hand. She also writes with a blithe and breezy deftness, peppering her narrative with snarky but substantive footnotes that recall the insouciance of Mary Roach. A gem of a study into all that enchants and bewitches." -- Booklist "Aja Raden must be a kick at dinner parties ... She's also an appealingly informal, effortless storyteller, fascinated by the stories she tells." -- Seattle Times "a populist history told with humor and great relish... Profanely funny." -- David Duchovny, author of Holy Cow "Money, power, sexual politics, and jewelry! Isn't this what makes the world go 'round? What more could I ask for in a book -- Madonna "'Stoned' has its own special vitreous luster, just as any emerald worth its salt - an illumination into what makes us irrationally human." -- Minneapolis Star Tribune