Barney Frank photographed by Michael Halsband
Barney Frank is well known for being well spoken—even when he’s yelling.
“That’s one of the lucky things about me: I talk good. I don’t have to do a lot of preparation,” says Frank, who represented Massachusetts’s 4th Congressional District from 1981-2013.
Writing, however, is fraught with technical difficulties. “It is possible to type illegibly, it turns out,” says Frank, who employed a Dictaphone and transcriptionists to write official Congressional correspondence.
At 400 pages, his new memoir proved ...
Robin Rinaldi photographed by Rhonnel M. Adalin.
Would you take on a project you believed had a 70 to 80 percent chance of destroying your marriage?
Now reverse that. Would you take on a project you believed had a 20 to 30 percent chance of saving your marriage, if you thought that project was the marriage’s only hope?
That’s exactly what author and journalist Robin Rinaldi thought and did when she notified her husband of 18 years that they were going to have an open marriage, i ...
Jean Findlay photographed by Elizabeth Vickers
He was neurasthenic, anxious, isolated. He lived the last years of his life in a cork-lined room. He wrote brilliantly and endlessly, his masterwork comprising seven closely typeset volumes in 3,200 pages. Born just after the Franco-Prussian War, he died only a few years after World War I ended, his lifespan taking in some of the most glorious days France has known. He knew them only secondhand, for he lived vicariously and in memory, a certain kind of sponge ...
Matthew Parker photographed by Michael Trow
Although the suave, womanizing secret agent who likes his martinis shaken — not stirred — is British through and through, James Bond is 100 percent Jamaican. Ian Fleming, the author of the James Bond novels, wrote the cloak-and-dagger Cold War thrillers during the two months that he spent in Jamaica each year from the 1940s to the 1960s.
In World War II, Fleming was an officer in the British Naval Intelligence Division where he developed Operation Goldeneye, a plan ...
David Black photographed by Francis Hills.
I meet David Black at 7 W. 43rd St., one block from Bryant Park and a world away from the salad bar that tends to command my noontime attention. This is The Century, a self-proclaimed association of over 2,000 authors, artists, and amateurs of letters and fine arts. It’s one of those you-have-to-be-invited-to-be-a-member clubs (Black was invited by Angela Lansbury's brother) with the kind of polished mahogany, hallowed oil paintings, and creaky floors that make preservation societies quiver ...
Paul Offit photographed by April Saul.
Dr. Paul Offit is chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and the director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania. He’s portrayed in a lot of ways by different factions in the public arena, and it turns out that he’s a really interesting guy.
Dr. Offit is, on the one hand, a genuine hero of modern medicine, an award-winning scientist who spent a quarter-century developing a safe and effective vaccine against the rotovirus, a disease ...
James Grissom photographed by Michael Lionstar.
Most people who write to celebrities get an autographed 8 x 10. James Grissom got a vocation.
In 1982, as a college student, Grissom sent a letter soliciting advice on a writing career to fellow Louisianan Thomas Lanier “Tennessee” Williams III. The famous playwright responded by phone with an entreaty of his own.
“ ‘Perhaps you can be of some help to me.’ These were the first words Tennessee Williams spoke to me in that initial phone call to ...
Why we like the nonfiction writer
Michael Paterniti photographed by Lance Booth.
For readers who love creative nonfiction (or literary journalism or whatever designation suits you), if you haven’t read any work by Michael Paterniti, take note. The longtime GQ and New York Times Magazine contributor and author returns today with a collection of essays, Love and Other Ways of Dying, which Kirkus called, in a starred review, “real-world storytelling of the highest order.”
It’s an apt description for a writer who explores the human spirit with humor, empathy, and a ...