In Person

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.

June 16, 2014

You’re a Wizard, Julia: Getting to Know 20-Time Jeopardy! Champion Julia Collins 0


As Alex Trebek said during the introduction to her 21st game, “We have a wonderfully delightful, friendly champion in Julia Collins. Until she gets into a game, then she becomes relentless.”

May 22, 2014

Seeing the Birds Through the Trees 1


My new binoculars stowed in my backpack, my birding journal scribbled with a few preliminary notes, and I was ready for my inaugural adventure. I biked into Prospect Park with only a vague idea of where to go, and I was still a little mystified about how one actually finds birds.

April 21, 2014

The London Book Fair: Many Tote Bags but Few Industry Solutions 7


This old, sad debate talks about print and digital books as if they weren’t two sides of the same coin. Worry about book sales dropping more broadly, and start to think about the real ways that digital can reshape books.

April 16, 2014

A History of Love (of Bookstores) 6


I have a long string of past loves, but they’re all bookstores.

April 8, 2014

A Day in the Life of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop 50


On a dismal midwinter Thursday, we – eighteen current students of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, poets and fiction writers alike – set out to chronicle one ordinary 24-hour period in our lives. Hannah Horvath: take note.

March 20, 2014

La Chasse: On Hunting in the French Countryside 4


For a “blood sport,” la chasse is peaceful. “This is all so civilized,” a foreign policy advisor originally from Montana once remarked to me (even though gunfire blasted around us).

February 28, 2014

The Poet and the Movie Star: An Evening with Frank Bidart and James Franco 6


Bidart wanted to have dinner with Franco so that he could explain his intentions in writing “Herbert White” (which is written in the first-person character of a necrophiliac murderer), plus, he said, “Of course I wanted to have dinner with James Franco! He was brilliant in Pineapple Express!”

February 24, 2014

Is She Writing About Me?: A Profile of Lorrie Moore 8


Moore tells the story of a man she once dated who became suspicious of a specific character. “First of all, the character is a woman,” she remembers saying to him, “Second of all, darling, the character has a job.”

October 24, 2013

The 10 Things I Learned From Gay Talese That Will Get Me a Job at The New York Times 5


As a writer’s writer, Talese delivered these tips from a somewhat mythical place where pieces in magazines were paid for handsomely, weren’t due in one day, and were allowed to run at considerable lengths.