A green light to greatness.®

The Hummingbird’s Son

Bridge building and ‘literary truth’ from the Half-Breed King of America … but what’s with the haiku stuff?

Vitamin in the Twinkie


Thankfully, memoir isn’t autobiography. Memoir is a snapshot. Biography is the whole box of photos.

If You’re Not Here, Can’t Imagine Why Not!


The locals come early, knowing it means a prime seat, knowing they will be expected to push back the racks of second-hand books and publishers’ closeouts that crowd the store.

Mythmaking in the Moab


I got a call from Becky Saletan, an editor at Riverhead Books in 2009, asking if I would write a book about Daniel Suelo, a man who had lived a decade without money, barter or government welfare. He had been the subject of a Details magazine profile that had provoked a passionate worldwide response: Some thought he was an inspiration or even a saint, others deemed him a freeloader, a nut, a charlatan and a threat to the foundations of civilization. 

My Life with TVZ


The last time I went to the shack, I remember clearly that the cattle were going crazy: bawling and lowing constantly and with a distinct note of sadness and even hysteria.

Putting on My Old Cockfighting Shoes


TJ holds the red rooster against his chest like a cradled baby as his teenage son Gavin selects the weapon. From a lacquered box, the 17-year-old removes a 1-inch stainless steel blade in the shape of a crescent and tests the sharpness by shaving some hair from the back of his hand. He blows the hair from the blade and walks over to the rooster.

Where Have All the Hillbillies Gone?


Retracing the steps of the HillBilly Snap Shooter Joe Clark

The Best {And Worst} of Tom Junod


“I thought of the way I’d start the story, if I were you, by the way.” Tom Junod knows how he would start a profile on Tom Junod. Of course he does. Half teasing, half serious, the emailed carrot is a tempting rescue from writer’s block.

How would Tom Junod begin a profile of himself? 

Writing for Life


Richard Rhodes turned his life around. He earned a scholarship to Yale, married, had two children, launched an enviable writing career and won a Pulitzer Prize. A storybook tale of triumph over tragedy. But storybook tales are for children. He drank too much, turned anorexic, divorced twice and spent years in psychotherapy unable to write, fearful of his own emotions.

Call Him Ishmael


In the main auditorium of the private Quaker school, the students are about to assemble, eager to hear from the famous former teacher who turned a student assignment into a bestselling book about 28,800 yellow rubber duckies lost at sea. In the front office, faculty and administrators greet Donovan enthusiastically as he signs in tardy. “Donovan Hohn!” one teacher calls out. “Moby-Duck, right?”

Isabel's Warmth

For The Warmth of Other Suns, Isabel interviewed more than 1,200 people over 15 years to tell the saga of the Great Migration, the exodus of 6 million blacks from the South. 


The Magazine