The Write Stuff

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader A couple of our pals have new stellar new book anthologies out and both are well worth your time. From the intrepid Wright Thompson, ESPN’s maestro of longform, comes his first anthology, The Cost Of These Dreams: Sports Stories and...

The Stacks Chat: Edward Sorel

By Alex Belth Esquire November 2016 Edward Sorel is one of the finest—and funniest—caricaturists this country has ever produced. Although he works in a variety of styles, you’ll likely recognize his work right away—you’ve seen it in Esquire, Harper’s, The New Yorker,...

The Stacks Chat: Ron Rosenbaum

By Alex Belth Esquire Classic June 2016 The Classic Q&A: Ron Rosenbaum Though he needs no introduction, we’ll give is a shot: Ron Rosenbaum is the author of seven books, including three anthologies of his magazine work (most recently The Secret Parts of Fortune)....

The Stacks Chat: Mike Sager

By Alex Belth Esquire Classic 2016 Back in 1998, magazine writer Mike Sager was best known for his fearless profiles of drug dealers, crackheads, porn stars, and neo-Nazis. But that year Esquire handed him a very different kind of assignment: Write about an old man....

The Stacks Chat: Robert Benton

By Alex Belth Esquire Classic August 2016 Robert Benton is best known as a screenwriter (Bonnie and Clyde, What’s Up Doc?,and Superman), and director (The Late Show, Kramer vs. Kramer, and Nobody’s Fool), but before he lost it at the movies, Benton was the art...

The Stacks Chat: Chip Brown

By Alex Belth Esquire Classic 2016 Chip Brown has long been one of the finest magazine writers we have. An exacting reporter and a deft stylist, Brown began under the tutelage of David Maraniss and Bob Woodward at The Washington Post and flourished as feature writer...

A Forgotten Pioneer of The New Journalism

By Alex Belth Esquire Classic October 2016 Fame is fleeting in all pop culture—movies, music, writing, sports: today’s stars, tomorrow’s Where Are They Now’s. This feels especially true in journalism. Who but a small group of nonfiction-loving nerds pays attention to...

The Stacks Chat: John Edgar Wideman

By Alex Belth Esquire Classic October 26, 2016 The story of Emmet Till is embedded in our public consciousness as one of the most notorious hate crimes of the century. What is lesser known—and what novelist John Edgar Wideman tackles with candor and humility in his...

Would You Be Mine? Could You Be Mine?

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader I’d heard nothing but good things about Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Morgan Neville’s new documentary about Fred Rogers. Plus, our pal Tom Junod is a featured talking head in the movie and I was excited for him to be a part of it. Tom, if...

The Summer in the City Game

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader With all due respect to the national pastime, summer is also time for hoops, especially of the pick-up variety. Of course, in the realm of basketball literature there is a whole rich subsection of writing devoted to the street game....

The Stacks Chat: James McMullan

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader New York magazine is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and they really pulled out all the stops with this big, fat, sexy coffee table book. It’s really well done and so worth having. Some of New York’s most famous stories are...

“Literature Isn’t a Moral Beauty Contest”

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader Philip Roth died a few days ago at the age of 85. My favorite tribute comes from Zadie Smith in The New Yorker: He was a writer all the way down. It was not diluted with other things as it is—mercifully!—for the rest of us. He was...