Author of THE ITALIAN AMERICANS: A HISTORY
Maria Laurino photographed by Deborah Lopez.
Maria Laurino has been concerned with stereotypes for years. Once, when writing for the New York Times, she had the temerity to ask Sopranos' creator David Chase if he ever thought about writing a character like Tony Soprano that wasn't in the Mafia.
"If you look at films, it's either ‘The Don' or 'The Dimwit,’ the Mafia stereotype or the John Travolta-type—and I think both of those things have haunted us for decades," Laurino says.
The forthcoming ...
Matthew Quirk photographed by Mark Finkstaedt.
Shortly before Kirkus caught up with him recently in San Francisco, Matthew Quirk found himself and his wife strangely locked in a parking garage along with a few other folks. Knowing how much time her husband had spent hanging out with computer hackers and other assorted ne'er-do-wells researching his new thriller The Directive, Quirk's devoted spouse slyly turned to her husband and quietly asked, "Can you do something with this lock?"
"I can pick some easy locks, but ...
Adam Brookes photograhed by Selena Malott.
Veteran journalist-turned-debut spy novelist Adam Brookes knows that the Chinese Ministry of Public Security has a “Dang’an,” or record, on him a solid foot thick—but the Night Heron author doesn’t care. That’s what you get covering Beijing as foreign correspondent for the BBC for as long as he has.
“The Chinese know very well who I am,” Brookes says from his home near Washington, D.C. “I don't think there's much I can do to surprise ...
Scott Weems photographed by Laura Hartline Weems.
When he was younger, neuroscientist Scott Weems once burst out laughing at his grandfather's funeral. Not everyone present saw the humor in the solemnities.
Funny thing is, Weems, author of Ha!: The Science of When We Laugh and Why, kept right on laughing at seemingly the most inappropriate times. So much so that he started to get a little self-conscious about it. Ultimately, all the angst spurred Weems to delve deep into the nature of humor in a big ...
Harold Schechter photographed by Kimiko Hahn.
The sun is up and folks patronizing this cozy little corner of Brooklyn are happily chatting over hot coffee and morning toast as one of their neighbors—literary professor and true crime writer Harold Schechter—sits among the comfy retro booths and lemon-kissed walls ticking off all the terrible headlines contained in his unkempt scrapbook of horror.
“It’s actually kind of frightening,” the 65-year-old starts—his already sonorous voice playfully dropping into theatrically grave and ominous tones. “You can go back at ...
Andy Weir is comfortably back home in the San Francisco Bay Area working on his next book, but for the last few years he’s been lost in space—Mars, to be specific.
“I'm a huge fan of space travel, space research, manned and unmanned space flight,” The Martian author says. “But in terms of the American space program, I'm actually not that happy. Basically, all we do now is go to the International Space Station.” Weir says ...
Pierce Brown photographed by John Allen.
Three years ago, with an explosion of brilliantly pulsating stars hanging closer in the night sky than he had ever seen before, Pierce Brown found his head swirling with thoughts of Greek tragedy and science fiction as he and a band of college buddies carefully picked their way through the ice-encrusted Cascade mountain range of Washington state.
"I had about two months before starting a new job," the 25-year-old Red Rising author recalls. "I knew I had time for one ...
P.J. O'Rourke photographed by James Kegley.
P.J. O’Rourke, the seasoned political humorist with the National Lampoon pedigree, is at home in his small New Hampshire town desperate for some help.
Perplexed, he asks, “Do spaces count as characters?”
When told that the millennials living under his roof are no doubt the go-to folks in this particular situation, O’Rourke, 66, readily agrees that yes, of course, his kids possess the ability to easily answer any and all Twitter questions their ole dad might possibly have—but ...