The Writearound

A series of conversations with writers


Patrick Radden Keefe is a staff writer at The New Yorker. He’s also contributed to the New York Times, New York, and Slate, among other publications. His first New Yorker piece, from 2006, was “The Snakehead,” about an immigrant-trafficking network headed by a Chinatown shopkeep known as Sister Ping. Keefe has since written about a Syrian arms dealer living large in Spain, an environmental lawyer battling Chevron in Ecuador, billionaire tycoon Bill Koch’s elaborate vendetta against a suspected wine counterfeiter, upstate New York gang violence, and the inner workings of Mexico’s massive Sinaloa drug cartel. He’s published two books: Chatter, about the NSA, and The Snakehead. Here, he talks about cold-calling Arizona court reporters for cartel-member testimony; how “evil” doesn’t interest him; the year he worked inside the Pentagon; and drinking (authentic?) ’89 Montrachet with Koch.

READ THE Q&A WITH PATRICK HERE  June, 2012


Chris Jones is a writer-at-large for Esquire. He has won two National Magazine Awards, most recently in 2009, in the feature writing category, for “The Things That Carried Him,” about the long journey of a soldier’s body back home from the battlefield. He has written excellent pieces about Roger Ebert, Robert Caro, a weatherman who “broke” The Price is Right, and the Zanesville, Ohio, animal massacre, among other subjects. We talked about how Jones stalked GQ writer Chris Heath in Zanesville; how Esquire editor-in-chief David Granger only ran the Price is Right story after Jones bet him $5,000 that he’d like it; the time he was really (regrettably) mean to Scarlett Johansson; the perils and pluses of first-person narration; and why he insists on always using a moleskin notebook.

READ THE Q&A WITH CHRIS HERE   June, 2012


Vanessa Grigoriadis is a contributing editor at New York and Vanity Fair. She won the National Magazine Award for profile writing in 2007 for a piece on Karl Lagerfeld, and she was nominated for the Feature Writing award in 2008 for her piece on Gawker. In this Writearound, she talks about her crush on Justin Bieber (and the controversy that sprouted after she asked him his opinion on abortion in the case of rape in a Rolling Stone profile), her motivation in describing Britney Spears as an inbred swamp thing, why she doesn’t quite consider herself a journalist, and how “awful” it felt to read a profile someone once wrote of her.

READ THE Q&A WITH VANESSA HERE  September, 2011


Josh Eells is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone, where he’s written cover stories on Zach Galifianakis and Lil Wayne, among others. He’s also a contributing editor at Men’s Journal, where he recently profiled Kyle Chandler. In this Writearound, we talk about hanging out with war dogs; munching pot chocolates with bearded comic geniuses; and what the celebrity profile still has to offer.

STREAM OR DOWNLOAD AUDIO OF THE Q&A WITH JOSH HERE   45 minutes, August 2011


Alex Pappademas is a staff writer for Grantland; he was formerly a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine, and, before that, GQ’s staff writer. In this inaugural Writearound, we talk about his first Times Magazine cover story, on the Teen Wolf reboot; several of his GQ profiles (including this one, of Quentin Tarantino); his stint working alongside Kurt Andersen, David Carr and others at Inside.com; and why pancetta just sounds better than prosciutto.

STREAM OR DOWNLOAD AUDIO OF THE Q&A WITH ALEX  HERE   45 minutes, July 2011





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