Emma Cline photographed by Megan Cline.
In late 2014, the publishing world was abuzz with news of a debut, non-celebrity writer striking a $2 million dollar book deal. At the center of the deal, The Girls was purported to be loosely based on some of the people surrounding Charles Manson; the author, who had just a few bylines to her name, is Emma Cline. When asked about the deal, Cline says, “The way the book is being published has so little to do with me. The ...
Yaa Gyasi photographed by Michael Lionstar
The structure of Yaa Gyasi’s debut novel, Homegoing, is all wide sweep and ambition, covering three centuries and a host of characters between Ghana and the United States to depict the long and harrowing reach of slavery. But even while the novel’s scope expanded, Gyasi’s chief concern was keeping the story on an individual level.
“We have a tendency to look upon our ancestors as though they were less smart or less moral than us,” Gyasi says. “Were we ...
Stephanie Danler photographed by Nick Voderman.
Stephanie Danler’s debut novel, Sweetbitter, begins with a perfect amuse-bouche:
“You will develop a palate.”
“It’s a command from a voice from the future, that first line,” says Danler, who intended the second-person start as an homage to Jay McInerney’s Bright Lights, Big City. (McInerney reciprocated with an enthusiastic blurb for the back jacket.)
“The entire plot is in that sentence, ‘You will develop a palate,’ ” she says. “Nothing else really happens, except this young woman ...
Eric Ripert photographed by Nigel Parry.
Chef Eric Ripert is as particular about the words used to tell his story as he is about the ingredients used in Le Bernardin’s kitchen.
“Very much yes,” says Ripert, author of 32 Yolks: From My Mother’s Table to Working the Line, written with Veronica Chambers. The two spent hours in the basement of his famous Manhattan restaurant: he, telling the story; she, translating speech into narrative nonfiction.
“Veronica let me be very involved, basically micromanaging every chapter with ...
Louise Erdrich photographed by Paul Emmel.
The wind blows cold in North Dakota, the skies filling with a steely gray that casts a pall over a land that, if sullen, is not without its beauty. In these broken fields, among these small lakes and patches of forest, there are time-honored ways of marking the seasons. One is hunting deer, a fact from which Louise Erdrich’s 15th novel, LaRose departs, as the opening line has it, “where the reservation boundary invisibly bisected a stand of deep brush ...
Anna Quindlen photographed by Maria Krovatin.
“I wanted to write a novel about America,” Anna Quindlen says of the inspiration for her latest, Miller’s Valley. “Big things happen in this country and then we promptly forget about them. America papers things over and then starts over again anew. That’s very exciting and allows for reinvention, but we forget our history."
What is at risk of being papered over in Miller’s Valley is the title’s namesake: a rural town in Pennsylvania where narrator Mimi Miller’s family ...
Augusten Burroughs photographed by Christopher Schelling.
After the publication of his self-help book, This Is How, Augusten Burroughs considered getting a divorce—from memoirs.
“At that point, I had made the intellectual decision, within myself, that I wanted to write novels,” says Burroughs, who wrote two in the next few years.
But a third book eclipsed them both: the story of how he fell in love with his husband, literary agent Christopher Schelling. Yes, Burroughs’s latest, Lust & Wonder, is, in fact, a memoir.
“That is ...