Published Books

How You Get Famous: Ten Years of Drag Madness in Brooklyn

How You Get Famous: Ten Years of Drag Madness in Brooklyn

Simon & Schuster – June 2022

Nicole Pasulka, Literary Reportage 2014

A madcap adventure through a tight-knit world of drag performers making art and mayhem in the greatest city on earth.

Ten years ago, an aimless coat check girl better known today as Merrie Cherry sweet-talked her boss into giving her $100 to host a drag show at a Brooklyn dive bar. Soon, kids like Aja were kicking their way into the scene, sneaking into clubs, pocketing their tips to help mom pay the mortgage, and sharing the stage with electric performers like Thorgy Thor and Sasha Velour. Because suddenly, in the biggest, brightest city in America, drag was offering young, broke, creative queer people a chance at real money—and for thousands or even millions of people to learn their names.

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Volunteers: Growing Up in the Forever War

Volunteers: Growing Up in the Forever War

Algonquin Books – November 2021

Jerad W. Alexander, Literary Reportage 2021

As a child, Jerad Alexander lay in bed listening to the fighter jets take off outside his window and was desperate to be airborne. As a teenager at an American base in Japan, he immersed himself in war games, war movies, and pulpy novels about Vietnam. Obsessed with all things military, he grew up playing with guns, joined the Civil Air Patrol for the uniform, and reveled in the closed and safe life “inside the castle,” within the embrace of the armed forces, the only world he knew or could imagine. Most of all, he dreamed of enlisting—like his mother, father, stepfather, and grandfather before him—and playing his part in the Great American War Story.

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Underground: A Human History of the World Beneath Our Feet

Underground: A Human History of the World Beneath Our Feet

Spiegel & Grau – January 2019

Will Hunt, Literary Reportage 2015

A panoramic investigation of the subterranean landscape, from sacred caves and derelict subway stations to nuclear bunkers and ancient underground cities—an exploration of the history, science, architecture, and mythology of the worlds beneath our feet.

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House of Nutter

House of Nutter: The Rebel Tailor of Savile Row

Crown Books – May 1, 2018

Lance Richardson, Literary Reportage 2015

The strange, illuminative true story of Tommy Nutter, the Savile Row tailor who changed the silhouette of men’s fashion—and his rock photographer brother, David, who captured it all on film.

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The Art of Vanishing

The Art of Vanishing

Viking – February 6, 2018

Laura Smith, Literary Reportage 2015

A young woman chafing at the confines of marriage confronts the high cost of craving freedom and adventure.

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The Heart is a Shifting Sea

The Heart is a Shifting Sea: Love & Trouble in Mumbai

HarperCollins – February 6, 2018

Elizabeth Flock, Literary Reportage 2015

An intimate portrait of three marriages in twenty-first-century India.

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On Trails

On Trails

Simon & Schuster, July 12, 2016

Robert Moor, Literary Reportage 2011

In 2009, Robert Moor (Literary Reportage, 2011) thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail. It was the culmination of a dream he’d held since childhood and the beginning of a journey that would lead him to investigate trails of all kinds—from tiny insect trails and neural pathways to sprawling buffalo trails, highway systems, even the internet. The result of his travels, On Trails, explores what unites these networks and reveals in turn how trails allow us to make sense of our world.

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Fjordman

Fjordman: Portrait of an Anti Islamist

2013

Simen Saetre, Literary Reportage 2012

This is the story of how Peder Are Nøstvold Jensen went from being a subdued radicals son from Aalesund to prophet status blogger Fjordman, and become the favorite writer of the mass murderer behind the 22 July assassination. There is also a study of an anti-Islamic ideology.

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The Faithful Scribe

The Faithful Scribe.

Other Press, 2013

Shahan Mufti

Shahan Mufti’s family history, which he can trace back fourteen hundred years to the inner circle of the prophet Muhammad, offers an enlightened perspective on the mystifying history of Pakistan. Mufti uses the stories of his ancestors, many of whom served as judges and jurists in Muslim sharia courts of South Asia for many centuries, to reveal the deepest roots—real and imagined—of Islamic civilization in Pakistan.

Mufti uses the stories of his ancestors, many of whom served as judges and jurists in Muslim sharia courts of South Asia for many centuries, to reveal the deepest roots–real and imagined–of Islamic civilization in Pakistan.

The Faithful Scribe captures the larger story of the world’s first Islamic democracy, and explains how the state that once promised to bridge Islam and the West is now threatening to crumble under historical and political pressure, and why Pakistan’s destiny matters to us all.

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Among Murderers - Life After Prison

Among Murderers. Life After Prison.

2013

Sabine Heinlein

What is it like for a convicted murderer who has spent decades behind bars to suddenly find himself released into a world he barely recognizes? What is it like to start over from nothing? To answer these questions Sabine Heinlein followed the everyday lives and emotional struggles of Angel Ramos and his friends Bruce and Adam–three men convicted of some of society’s most heinous crimes–as they return to the free world.

Heinlein spent more than two years at the Castle, a prominent halfway house in West Harlem, shadowing her protagonists as they painstakingly learn how to master their freedom. Having lived most of their lives behind bars, the men struggle to cross the street, choose a dish at a restaurant, and withdraw money from an ATM. Her empathetic first-person narrative gives a visceral sense of the men’s inner lives and of the institutions they encounter on their odyssey to redemption. Heinlein follows the men as they navigate the subway, visit the barber shop, venture on stage, celebrate Halloween, and loop through the maze of New York’s reentry programs. She asks what constitutes successful rehabilitation and how one faces the guilt and shame of having taken someone’s life.

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Podcasts

Bonaparte

Bonaparte

Imperative Entertainment and Vespucci

Jason Stavers, Literary Reportage 2021

25 after Laura Van Wyhe’s body was found by the side of the road, attorney Anne Champion is returning to Bonaparte, Iowa to find out what happened.

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Believable - Narratively - Produced by Ryan Sweikert

Believable

Narratively

Ryan Sweikert, Literary Reportage 2018

Believable is a podcast from Narratively about how our stories define who we are. In each episode, we dive into a personal, eye-opening story where narratives conflict, and different perspectives about the truth collide.

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Works in Progress by Lit Rep Alumni

Fires In The Night: The Earth Liberation Front, The FBI, and a Secret Battle to Save The Planet

Matthew Wolfe, Literary Reportage 2013

Forthcoming from Viking


Carlos Alejos Has To Lose His Chichos, a graphic novel about a queer Puerto Rican teen of size as he grapples with body image, friendship, and his burgeoning sexuality in suburban New Jersey

Mathew Rodriguez, Literary Reportage 2016

Forthcoming from Stonesong


Conversations With Athena, a book about women who take justice into their own hands when institutions fail them

Elizabeth Flock, Literary Reportage 2015

Forthcoming from HarperCollins


The Most Serious Offender: The Guilt and Responsibility of the Redmond Five

Amanda Waldroupe, Literary Reportage 2012

Forthcoming from St. Martins


Me and My Ovary: Reproductive Rights, the FemTech Revolution, and the Future of Fertility

Natalie Lampert, Literary Reportage 2016

Forthcoming from Ballantine Books


A book of nonfiction about the building of a new Yankee Stadium and the shaping of New York City in the decade after 9/11.

Patrick Arden, Literary Reportage 2011

Forthcoming from Macmillan


True Nature: On the Path of Peter Matthiessen

Lance Richardson, Literary Reportage 2015

Forthcoming from Knopf, 2022