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 ...
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 ...
Harlan Coben photographed by Claudio Marinesco
For mere mortal men, 28 novels would be the work of a lifetime spent crafting eerie tales of familial peril and sudden reversals. But for New Jersey-based bestselling novelist Harlan Coben, it’s just what’s on the way to number 29.
We’ve connected to talk about his new stand-alone novel, Fool Me Once, a twisty and surreally dark suburban drama with one hell of a shock waiting for readers at the end of it. Our portal into Coben’s world is Maya ...
Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney photgrpahed by Lisa Whiteman.
In The Nest, Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s glorious New York novel, four adult siblings meet at the Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant for some fresh coffee and old roles.
“The three of them wondered how he did it, how he always managed to be unruffled while putting everyone else on edge, how even in this moment, at this lunch, where Leo should be abashed, laid bare, and the balance of power could have, should have, shifted against him, he still ...
Ruta Sepety photographed by Magda Starowieyska Fotorzepa
On the morning of Jan. 30, 1945, the German passenger ship Wilhelm Gustloff left the Polish port of Gotenhafen carrying roughly 10,000 people, mostly civilian refugees. That night, the ship was struck by three Russian torpedoes. It sank in just 60 minutes, and over 9,000 people died, making it by far the worst maritime disaster in history. (For comparison, the sinking of the Titanic resulted in around 1,500 casualties.) And yet, almost no one has heard of ...