discussion, interview

A conversation about “Truther Love” on Nonfiction Podcast

A couple of months ago Longreads published “Truther Love,” my story about the dating (and mating) habits of conspiracy theorists. I am honored to be featured on the Nonfiction Podcast, in conversation with “lifelong nonfiction geek” Matt Pusateri. Listen to Matt and me talk about how the story originated and what the reporting and writing process was like.


Other notable contributors include Jessica Ogilvie talking about her story “The Revolutionary Routine of Life as a Female Trucker” and Lane DeGregory, about “The Long Fall of Phoebe Jonchuck.”

discussion, fantasies, murder, prison, rehabilitation, review, writing

The Murderer and the Manuscript

Amazing story in the New York Times about the winner of a mystery-novel contest who is in prison, serving a minimum of 30 years for murder.

“Just before Labor Day in 2011, Toni Kirkpatrick, an editor at Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press, picked up her phone and called an unfamiliar number with a Southern California area code. She was hoping to deliver good news to a man named Alaric Hunt, the newest winner of a debut-detective-novel writing contest, jointly sponsored by Minotaur Books (another St. Martin’s imprint) and the Private Eye Writers of America. The contest has a good track record — a past winner, Michael Koryta, a 21-year-old phenom, has since published 10 successful thrillers — and it also comes with a substantial prize: a $10,000 advance and a guaranteed publishing contract for the book that has been submitted.”

Cuts Through Bone

criminal justice, discussion, prison, stereotypes

Beyond Punishment

Check out this audio-visual project that focuses on sharing individual stories from the restorative justice movement in the United States. Started by five Middlebury College students in the Spring of 2013, Beyond Justice offers a nuanced look at the ways individuals are challenging traditional approaches to punishment through narrative.

Beyond Justice

Among Murderers, discussion, Quakers, reading

Returning to the Rochester Quakers

Each Friday night a small group of Quakers from Rochester go into Attica prison to talk to prisoners and sit in silence. The chapter “Silent Forgiveness” in Among Murderers details my first trip to Rochester and Attica in December 2007, my protagonist’s connection to the Quakers, and my personal struggles with religion and forgiveness.

I’ve stayed in touch with Judy Halley, who used to run the Friday night Quaker meeting inside Attica prison and who helped facilitate my first visit. Judy recently invited me to do a reading and a discussion at the Quaker meeting house in Rochester.  I have never spoken in front a group that was more engaged and engaging, more insightful and intelligent than the one I met that night. (And the homemade cookies were excellent, despite Judy’s worries about the event. “Every time I got nervous I made another batch,” she had told me.)

Filmmaker Sam Avery, Judy’s friend, videotaped the event, and my friend Franzi Lamprecht helped me edit the video.