In Person

July 27, 2015

My Travels with Harper Lee 1


The countdown to midnight exceeded all expectations. News trucks from Birmingham, Mobile, Pensacola, as well as major outlets like CNN, jockeyed for curb space along West Claiborne Street. Reporters flanked the throng of Lee enthusiasts, requesting interviews.

July 2, 2015

The Best Friend There Is: Keeping Time with Brazenhead Books 2


“I’ve accepted the end times,” he says. “Not, like, in a Biblical way. I just did the math.”

June 9, 2015

Meet Me Under the Clock: A New Orleans Story 5


It’s the small traditions — from eating red beans and rice on Monday to meeting under a clock outside a department store — that remind them that some part of this sinking city will endure. Those reminders are sacred, even if they seem trivial to the rest of the world.

May 6, 2015

Cuba on the Cusp in ‘Havana Motor Club’ 2


Cubans are getting ready to navigate a treacherous crossroads — the place where communism and capitalism intersect and collide.

May 1, 2015

What the New Whitney Museum Says About the New New York City 5


The new Whitney is the latest monument to contemporary New York’s get-rich-or-get-out ethos.

March 25, 2015

From the Internet to the Ivy League: Fanfiction in the Classroom 6


Fanfiction will be taught and studied in future classrooms across the country — the only question is how.

March 23, 2015

Viva Las Vegas: On Getting an MFA in Sin City 10


Haruki Murakami runs marathons, the great Amy Hempel volunteers at animal shelters, and Flannery O’Connor had her Catholic faith. Me, I toss plastic chips onto green felt.

March 16, 2015

Tend to the Wounded: Dispatches from Kyiv 5


This is the first time I’ve been in a hot war zone, and the only thing I’ve learned is that I’m too old for this shit.

September 24, 2014

Murder Goes to Prep School: A Conversation About Tana French’s The Secret Place 23


The girls in The Secret Place are very recognizably obnoxious teenagers — to the extent that I thought they were all idiots, and at one point or another I thought all of them capable of murder.

June 16, 2014

Cultural Exchange 1


“Do you have your passport?” It was, I realized, a single-entry visa, meaning once I left Russia, I wasn’t allowed to come back. Visions of Russian prison danced in my head. Maybe, I thought, I should have stayed home.