Emily Mitchell photographed by Britt Olsen-Ecker.
Emily Mitchell is the author of Viral. But who is Emily Mitchell, really?
“Emily Mitchell has worked as a waitress, a receptionist at a bakery/tanning salon, a short-order cook, a snowmobile driver, a crime-scene cleanup technician, an exotic animal trainer, a war correspondent, a phone dispatcher, a secretary, an environmental campaigner, a freelance journalist, a bean counter and a holistic pediatric oncologist,” Mitchell writes in “Biographies.”
“Biographies” isn’t her biography, but one of a dozen delightfully diverse ...
Mia Alvar photographed by Deborah Lopez.
You’d be hard-pressed to guess where Mia Alvar hails from based on her itinerant debut. In the Country’s stories are set in the Philippines, Bahrain, and New York: all places its author has called home.
“I do tend to feel like a sort of observer, at a remove, in any one of those places,” says Alvar, who resists claiming full “New Yorker” status, despite living on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. “That was part of the attraction for ...
Kate Walbert photographed by Deborah Donenfeld.
Kate Walbert’s The Sunken Cathedral is an undulating novel. Its vignettes follow various characters as they grapple with the anxieties of modern life in Manhattan and the fluctuations that climate change thrusts upon them. Perspectives shift, time skips, and readers must bob their eyes to retrieve significant treasures submerged in footnotes.
Though Walbert initially resisted using the device, “they really insisted on themselves,” she says. “Footnotes felt right and felt true, because they somehow do reflect that fractured consciousness ...
Sophie McManus photographed by Jason Mones
Sophie McManus has perfect pitch for the icy tones of the idle rich.
In an early scene in The Unfortunates, aging heiress Cecilia “CeCe” Somner addresses catering staff aboard a hired yacht:
Bartenders, we will not serve anything with a straw. Mr. Antonopoulos. I am glad to see we no longer have the scuffed-shoe problem of our last engagement. I know there is a tendency to let off steam when you think you are amongst yourselves. I am not a ...
Stevie Phillips photographed by Daryl Edelstein
At a time when most women in show business were secretaries or script-readers, Stevie Phillips became a talent agent. Eventually, she headed the theater and motion picture departments at über-agency CMA (now ICM). Her A-list clientele included Liza Minnelli, Robert Redford, Al Pacino, Paul Newman, David Bowie, Bob Fosse and Cat Stevens.
But as her debut memoir Judy & Liza & Robert & Freddie & David & Sue & Me... makes plain, addiction threatened her success at every turn—even though ...
Peter Nichols photographed by Adrian Kinloch
Peter Nichols literally shipwrecked. Hollywood bigwigs optioned screenplays of his that were never produced. Love came and went. And when he submitted a draft of The Rocks, a novel quite unlike the bestselling nautical nonfiction he’s known for (A Voyage for Madmen, 2001; Evolution’s Captain, 2003, etc.), his longterm literary agent left him.
“Bad things don’t happen to writers; it’s all material,” Garrison Keillor said—and The Rocks is so much richer for the delectable allusions to its author’s adventuresome ...
Margaret Lazarus Dean photographed by Christopher Hebert
Whether you’ve dreamed of donning a bright white suit for a zero-gravity spin, or simply stayed tuned to a shuttle launch on TV, Margaret Lazarus Dean will reignite your enthusiasm for American spaceflight.
“... I want to write about those places where the technical and the emotional intersect—like the smell of space, or the schoolchildren watching Challenger explode with a teacher aboard, or an adult woman hiding her tears in the cathedralic heights of [NASA’s] Vehicle Assembly Building, or a ...
Harrison Scott Key photographed by Chia Chong
A funny thing happened to Harrison Scott Key when a publicist sent out press kits for his debut memoir, The World’s Largest Man: he wound up on Southern Living’s “50 Best-Dressed Southerners 2015.”
In one photo, Key mimes reading aloud to a mounted wildebeest head. He wears a square-patterned bow tie, plaid shirt, blue blazer with a red banana for a pocket square, and mustard-colored jeans.
“My wife hates the way I dress and so basically her disgust ...