Archive for the ‘Authors’ Category


Peter S. Onuf

10/11/2016  by Lindsay Malboeuf  Comment on this Post

Peter S. Onuf is the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Professor Emeritus in the Corcoran Department of History at the University of Virginia and a Senior Research Fellow at the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies in Monticello.  A specialist in the history of the early American republic, Onuf was educated at Johns Hopkins University, where he received his A.B. in 1967 and Ph.D. in 1973, and has taught at Columbia University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Southern Methodist University before coming to Virginia in 1990.  In 2008-2009 Onuf was Harmsworth Professor of American History at the University of Oxford. In 2014, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  Onuf’s work on Thomas Jefferson’s political thought, culminating in Jefferson’s Empire: The Language of American Nationhood and The Mind of Thomas Jefferson, grows out of earlier studies on the history of American federalism, foreign policy, and political economy.  He and co-author Annette Gordon-Reed have recently published Most Blessed of Patriarchs: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination. With Ed Ayers, recently retired as President of University of Richmond, and his Virginia colleague Brian Balogh, Onuf is co-host of the public radio program “Backstory with the American History Guys” . Onuf and his wife Kristin now live in Portland and Winter Harbor, Maine.

Selected Bibliography

Jefferson’s Empire: The Language of American Nationhood (2000)
The Mind of Thomas Jefferson (2007)
Most Blessed of Patriarchs: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination (2016)

Online Resources

Harvard Magazine reviews Most Blessed of Patriarchs
NYT reviews Most Blessed of Patriarchs
Backstory with the American History Guys
Annette Gordon Reed and Peter S. Onuf at the Michelle Smith Lecture Series

Ann Beattie

07/08/2016  by Lindsay Malboeuf  Comment on this Post

Ann Beattie is a novelist and short-story writer who has been called the “most popular and admired writer of her generation” by the New York Times. Her fiction first captivated readers in the mid-1970s, when, at twenty-six, she began publishing regularly in the New Yorker. She has since published nine volumes of short stories, including The New Yorker Stories, consisting of forty-eight stories originally published in the magazine.

Long considered a voice of the post-hippie generation, Beattie’s stories originally explored the lives of self-involved characters undergoing burgeoning adulthood and sexual liberation set against the backdrop of a shifting America. With her bare bones, minimalistic prose style, she heavily influenced a generation of short-story writers to whom terms such as Beattiesque, Beattieland, and the Beattie generation were applied. As Beattie grew older, so, too, did her characters. In a 2010 interview with the Paris Review, Christopher Cox says of her work “a temperament characterized by youthful impatience has given way to a mellow graciousness.”

Beattie’s fiction has been included in four O. Henry Award Collections, in John Updike’s Best American Short Stories of the Century, and in Jennifer Egan’s Best American Short Stories 2014. She received the PEN/Malamud Award for achievement in the short story, and the Rea Award for the Short Story. She was the Edgar Allan Poe Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Virginia. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She and her husband, the painter Lincoln Perry, live in Maine and Key West, Florida.

Selected Bibliography

The State We’re In: Maine Stories (2015)
The New Yorker Stories (2011)
Mrs. Nixon: A Novelist Imagines A Life (2011)
Walks With Men (2010)
Perfect Recall (2000)
Another You (1995)
Where You’ll Find Me and Other Stories (1986)
Distortions (1976)

Online Resources

Ann Beattie profiled in the Nation
On Ann Beattie from
Ann Beattie interviewed in the Paris Review

Calvin Trillin

07/08/2016  by Lindsay Malboeuf  Comment on this Post

Calvin Trillin has been acclaimed in fields of writing that are remarkably diverse. As someone who has published solidly reported pieces in the New Yorker for more than fifty years, he has been called “perhaps the finest reporter in America.” His wry commentary on the American scene and his books chronicling his adventures as a “happy eater” have earned him renown as “a classic American humorist.” His About Alice—a 2007 New York Times best seller that was hailed as “a miniature masterpiece”—followed two other best-selling memoirs, Remembering Denny and Messages from my Father.

Trillin was born and raised in Kansas City, Mo., and now lives in New York. He graduated from Yale in 1957, did a hitch in the army, and then joined Time. After a year covering the South from the Atlanta bureau, he became a writer for Time in New York.

In 1963, he became a staff writer for the New Yorker. From 1967 to 1982, he produced a highly praised series of articles for the New Yorker called “U. S. Journal”  3,000 word pieces every three weeks from somewhere in the United States, on subjects that ranged from the murder of a farmer’s wife in Iowa to the author’s effort to write the definitive history of a Louisiana restaurant called Didee’s “or to eat an awful lot of baked duck and dirty rice trying.”

From 1978 through 1985, Trillin was a columnist for the Nation, writing what USA Today called “simply the funniest regular column in journalism.” From 1986 through 1995, the column was syndicated to newspapers. From 1996 to 2001, Trillin did a column for Time. His columns have been collected in five books. His Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin was awarded the Thurber Prize for American Humor in 2011.

Trillin’s books have included three comic novels (most recently the national best-seller Tepper Isn’t Going Out) and a collection of short stories and a travel book and an account of the desegregation of the University of Georgia.

Selected Bibliography
No Fair! No Fair!: And Other Jolly Poems of Childhood (Forthcoming September 2016)
Jackson, 1964: And Other Dispatches from Fifty Years of Reporting on Race in America
Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin: Forty Years of Funny Stuff (2012)
Dogfight: The 2012 Presidential Campaign in Verse (2012)
Alice, Let’s Eat: Further Adventures of a Happy Eater
Obliviously On He Sails: The Bush Administration in Rhyme (2004)
Tepper Isn’t Going Out: A Novel (2003)
Travels with Alice (1999)
Messages From My Father: A Memoir (1997)
The Tummy Trilogy (1994)

Online Resources

New York Times Book Review
Trillin on the Daily Show
New Yorker Profile


Brenda Wineapple

03/08/2016  by Lindsay Malboeuf  Comment on this Post

Brenda Wineapple is the author most recently of Ecstatic Nation: Confidence, Crisis, and Compromise, 1848-1877, a work of political and cultural history that tells the complex story of how America faced the crime of slavery and redefined the meaning of itself as one nation. A New York Times “Notable Book,” Ecstatic Nation is “magnificent,” Daniel Walker Howe wrote in The Wall Street Journal—and  “written in the style of Van Wyck Brooks, Doris Kearns Goodwin and Carl Sandburg, with a dash of David McCullough,” said the Boston Globe.

Her other books include White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award; Genêt: A Biography of Janet Flanner; Sister Brother Gertrude and Leo Stein; and Hawthorne: A Life, which received the Ambassador Award for the Best Biography of 2003. She is the editor of The Selected Poetry of John Greenleaf Whittier for the Library of America’s American Poets Project and the anthology, Nineteenth-Century American Writers on Writing.

Her numerous honors include a 2014 Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Pushcart Prize, the Marburg Award for Arts Writing, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, and two National Endowment Fellowships in the Humanities. She regularly contributes to major publications such as the New York Times Book Review, the New York Review of Books, Bookforum, the Nation, Threepenny Review, and the American Scholar.

An elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Society of American Historians, and formerly Distinguished Writer-in-Residence and Director of the Leon Levy Center for Biography at The Graduate School, CUNY, Brenda Wineapple teaches in the MFA programs at The New School and Columbia University’s School of the Arts. She lives in New York City with her husband, the composer Michael Dellaira—and is now writing a book about presidential impeachment (notably Andrew Johnson’s).

Online Resources

NYT Review of Ecstatic Nation
‘Voices of a Nation’: On writers in 19th-c. America
NYT Review of White Heat
On Sybille Bedford for the Paris Review
Brenda Wineapple’s website

Selected Bibliography

Ecstatic Nation: Confidence, Crisis, and Compromise, 1848-1877 (2013)
Nineteenth Century American Writers on Writing (2010)
White Heat (2008)
Hawthorne: A Life (2003)
Sister Brother Gertrude & Leo Stein (1996)
Genêt: A Biography of Janet Flanner (1989)

Billy Collins

02/25/2016  by Lindsay Malboeuf  Comment on this Post

Billy Collins is a two-term United States Poet Laureate, New York State Poet, and the author of ten collections of poetry, including his latest, Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems.

Called “the most popular poet in America” by the New York Times, Collins has led an unflagging career as a poet and public figure, and has introduced countless readers around the world to new poets and poetry. With the Library of Congress, he established Poetry 180, a teaching aid for high school students founded on the belief that “high school is often the place where poetry goes to die.”

Collins has received fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, The National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation, and has won the Mark Twain Prize, the Bess Hokin Prize, the Frederick Bock Prize, the Oscar Blumenthal Prize, and the Levinson Prize—all awarded by Poetry magazine. In 1992 he was chosen by the New York Public Library to serve as a “Literary Lion.” His poems appear regularly in The Best American Poetry series, and he edited Bright Wings: An Anthology of Poems about Birds.

Collins is a Distinguished Fellow of the Winter Park Institute at Rollins College.

Selected Bibliography

Voyage (for children, 2014)
Aimless Love (2013)
Horoscopes for the Dead (2011)
Ballistics (2008)
The Trouble with Poetry (2005)
Sailing Alone around the Room: New and Selected Poems (2001)
Picnic, Lightning (1998)
The Apple That Astonished Paris (1988)

Online Resources

Billy Collins resources from the Library of Congress
Audio: Collins @ KWLS 2003 and KWLS 2010
Interview in Littoral: “The Pleasures of Disorientation”
TED Talk: ‘Everyday moments, caught in time’
On E.E. Cummings for Slate
Poetry Foundation profile
Guernica interview

Annette Gordon-Reed

01/29/2016  by Lindsay Malboeuf  Comment on this Post

Annette Gordon-Reed received the 2008 National Book Award and the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family, a book that led the New York Review of Books to distinguish her as “one of the most astute, insightful, and forthright historians of this generation.” The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded Gordon-Reed a National Humanities Medal “for her important and innovative research on Thomas Jefferson’s slaves and the life of Sally Hemings, and for bringing to light a previously unrecognized chapter in the American story.”

Gordon-Reed is also author of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American ControversyVernon Can Read!: A Memoir, with Vernon Jordan, Jr.; and Andrew Johnson. She is the Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History at Harvard Law School, and a Professor of History at Harvard University. She was the Harold Vyvyan Harmsworth Visiting Professor of American History at Queen’s College, Oxford University during the 2014-2015 academic year.

Her forthcoming publication is “The Most Blessed of Patriarchs”: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of Imagination (co-written with Peter S. Onuf). Her honors include the National Humanities Medal, a Guggenheim Fellowship in the humanities, a fellowship from the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, a MacArthur Fellowship, and the National Organization for Women in New York City’s Woman of Power and Influence Award. Gordon-Reed was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011 and is a member of the Academy’s Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Selected Bibliography

“The Most Blessed of Patriarchs”: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of Imagination (forthcoming, 2016)
Andrew Johnson
The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family
Race on Trial: Law and Justice in American History, editor (2002)
Vernon Can Read!: A Memoir, with Vernon Jordan, Jr. (2001)
Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy (1997)

Online Resources

Annette Gordon-Reed’s bio on the Harvard Law website
Video: Gordon-Reed on Jefferson’s Mixed Legacy
Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy reviewed in NYT


Teju Cole

01/29/2016  by Lindsay Malboeuf  Comment on this Post

Teju Cole is a writer, art historian, and photographer. He is the Distinguished Writer in Residence at Bard College and photography critic for the New York Times Magazine.

Cole was born in the United States in 1975 to Nigerian parents and raised in Nigeria. He lives in Brooklyn and is the author of two books. His novella, Every Day is for the Thief, was named a book of the year by the New York Times, National Public Radio, and the Telegraph, and shortlisted for the PEN/Open Book Award. His novel, Open City, won the PEN/Hemingway Award, the New York City Book Award for Fiction, the Rosenthal Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the New York Public Library Young Lions Award, and the Ondaatje Prize of the Royal Society of Literature.

Cole has contributed to the New York Times, the New Yorker, and Granta, among other magazines. His forthcoming book is Known and Strange Things, a collection of essays on art, literature, and politics. His photography has been exhibited in India, Iceland, and the United States, published in a number of journals, and will be the subject of a solo exhibition in Italy in April 2016. He has lectured widely, from the Harvard Graduate School of Design to Twitter headquarters, and gave the 2014 Kenan Distinguished Lecture in Ethics at Duke University. He was awarded the 2015 Windham Campbell Prize for Fiction.

Selected Bibliography

Known and Strange Things (2016) 
Open City (
Every Day is for the Thief (2007)

Online Resources

Teju Cole’s website
Cole interviewed on Radio Open Source with Christopher Lydon
Open City reviewed in the New Yorker by James Wood
Video: Teju Cole at the NYS Writers Institute

Jane Mayer

01/29/2016  by Lindsay Malboeuf  Comment on this Post

Jane Mayer has been a New Yorker staff writer since 1995. She covers politics, culture, and national security for the magazine. Most recently, she is the author of Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, described by the New York Review of Books as “absolutely necessary reading for anyone who wants to make sense of our politics … Mayer is telling the epic story of America in our time. It is a triumph of investigative reporting.”

In 2008, she published the New York Times bestseller The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals, which is based on her New Yorker articles and was named one of the top ten works of journalism of the decade by N.Y.U.’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. She is also the co-author, with Jill Abramson, of Strange Justice, and, with Doyle McManus, of Landslide: The Unmaking of the President 1984-1988. In 2009, Mayer was chosen as Princeton University’s Ferris Professor of Journalism.

Previously, she worked at the Wall Street Journal, where she covered the bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, the Persian Gulf War, and the fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1984, she became the paper’s first female White House correspondent.

Her numerous honors include the John Chancellor Award; a Guggenheim Fellowship; the Goldsmith Book Prize; the Edward Weintal Prize; the Ridenhour Prize; the Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism; the J. Anthony Lukas Prize, the Sidney Hillman Prize, the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, the James Aronson Award for social justice journalism, the Toner Prize for political reporting, and the I. F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence.

Selected Bibliography

Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right (2016)
The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals (2008)
Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas (1994)

Online Resources

Jane Mayer’s website
Mayer’s New Yorker contributor page
Mayer interviewed by Rolling Stone
Dark Money reviewed by NYT

George Saunders

01/29/2016  by Lindsay Malboeuf  Comment on this Post

Of George Saunders, Zadie Smith has said, “Not since Twain has America produced a satirist this funny with a prose style this fine. Saunders is a morally passionate, serious writer, who perfectly expresses the madness of the times we live in. He will be read long after these times have passed.”

In a 2013 conversation with PBS Newshour, Saunders described his approach: “If you want to explore a political idea in the highest possible way, you embody it in the personal, because that’s something that no one can deny.”

His 2013 story collection Tenth of December, a finalist for the National Book Award and recipient of the Folio Prize, was praised widely for its formal invention and named one of the ten best books of the year by the New York Times Book Review. Also in 2013, Saunders was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine.

He writes short stories for the New Yorker and travel pieces for GQ, and his work includes the story collections CivilWarLand in Bad Decline (a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award), Pastoralia, and In Persuasion Nation (a finalist for the Story Prize). A transcript of his 2013 convocation address at Syracuse University, where he teaches, was published in book form as Congratulations, by the way: Some Thoughts on Kindness.

Saunders has been featured in Best American Short StoriesBest American Nonrequired ReadingBest American Travel Writing, and Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy anthologies. Named by the New Yorker one of the best American writers under the age of forty in 1999, Saunders has received fellowships from the MacArthur Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

He was born in Amarillo, Texas, grew up in Chicago, and graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a degree in exploration geophysics. He has worked as a doorman, a roofer, a convenience store clerk, a slaughterhouse worker, and as a tech writer. Since 1996, he has taught in the Syracuse MFA program, from which he also graduated, and he lives in the Catskills.

Selected Bibliography

Congratulations, by the way (2014)
Tenth of December: Stories (2013)
The Braindead Megaphone: Essays (2007)
In Persuasion Nation (2006)
The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil (2005)
Pastoralia (2000)
The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip (2000)
CivilWarLand in Bad Decline (1996)

Online Resources

George Saunders’ website
NYT Magazine profile of Saunders
Saunders interviewed on NPR
Video: Saunders On Story


Garrett Epps

01/28/2016  by Lindsay Malboeuf  Comment on this Post

Professor Garrett Epps joined the University of Baltimore School of Law in 2008. He teaches courses in Constitutional Law, First Amendment, and Fiction and Non-Fiction Writing for Law Students. He is a contributing writer to the Atlantic Online and serves as the magazine’s Supreme Court correspondent. He is also a contributing editor of The American Prospect. Epps’ most recent book, American Justice 2014: Nine Clashing Visions on the Supreme Court, was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press.

Epps’ previous book, American Epic: Reading the U.S. Constitution, was published in 2013 by Oxford University Press. In March 2014, American Epic was named a finalist for the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Book award. Two of his previous books, Democracy Reborn: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Fight for Equal Rights in Post-Civil War America (2006) and To an Unknown God: Religious Freedom on Trial (2001), were both also Silver Gavel finalists. A former staff writer for The Washington Post, Epps has written for The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, The Nation, The New Republic and The American Prospect.

Epps received his LL.M. in Comparative and International Law and his J.D. from Duke University, where he served as articles editor of Law and Contemporary Problems and graduated with the Willis Smith Award for the highest three-year academic average. Before attending law school, Epps earned his M.A. in English Writing in 1975 from Hollins College and his B.A. in 1972 from Harvard College, where he was editor of The Harvard Crimson.

Selected Bibliography

American Epic: Reading the U.S. Constitution (2013)
Democracy Reborn: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Fight for Equal Rights in Post-Civil War America (2007)
To An Unknown God: Religious Freedom On Trial (2001)
The Shad Treatment (1997)
The Floating Island: A Tale of Washington

Online Resources

on Twitter @ Profepps
Epps Atlantic contributor page
American Epic discusses on Book TV

Joyce Carol Oates

01/27/2016  by Arlo Haskell  Comment on this Post

Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Book Award and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including the national bestsellers We Were the Mulvaneys and Blonde (a finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize), and the New York Times bestsellers The Falls (winner of the 2005 Prix Femina Etranger) and The Gravedigger’s Daughter. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978. In 2003 she received the Common Wealth Award for Distinguished Service in Literature and The Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement, and in 2006 she received the Chicago Tribune Lifetime Achievement Award.

Oates’s most recent work includes the novels The Accursed and Mudwoman and the short story collection Black Dahlia and White Rose. She is a 2011 recipient of the President’s National Medal in the Humanities and the 2010 recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award. Her newest novel, Carthage, will be published in January 2014, to be followed in the fall by a new story collection, High-Crime Area. She is currently teaching in the graduate writing program at New York University.

Selected Bibliography

Freaky Green Eyes (2016)
Carthage (2014)
The Accursed (2013)
Mudwoman (2012)
A Fair Maiden (2010)
Little Bird of Heaven (2009)
The Gravedigger’s Daughter (2007)
Blonde (2000)
My Heart Laid Bare (1998)
We Were the Mulvaneys (1996)
Zombie (1995)
Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Heart (1990)

Online Resources

on Twitter @ joycecaroloates
Celestial Timepiece, the JCO Homepage @ Univ. Sand Francisco
Joyce Carol Oates interview on WNYC


Rachel Kushner

12/30/2015  by Lindsay Malboeuf  Comment on this Post

Rachel Kushner is the author of The Flamethrowers, which was a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award, the 2014 Folio Prize, and the James Tait Black Prize, longlisted for the 2014 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, and a New York Times Top Five Novel of 2013. Kushner’s debut novel, Telex From Cuba, was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, winner of the California Book Award, and a New York Times bestseller and Notable Book. Kushner is the only writer ever to be nominated for a National Book Award in Fiction for both a first and second novel. Her fiction and essays have appeared in the New YorkerHarper’s, the New York Times, and the Paris Review, among other places. She is the recipient of a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship.

Selected Bibliography

The Flame Throwers (2013)
Telex From Cuba: A Novel (2008)

Online Resources

LA Review of Books interview
New York Times profile

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