[I]t is east to imagine a tall, slender young man sweeping the floor, lost in thinking about the currents of the air and having no idea how he will die.”


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[I]t is east to imagine a tall, slender young man sweeping the floor, lost in thinking about the currents of the air and having no idea how he will die.”

Alec Wilkinson is a staff writer at The New Yorker. He was born in 1952 and currently lives in New York City with his wife and son. Wilkinson had a varied career before turning to writing full-time. He was a musician, playing and touring with a variety of rock bands. He even played with a band in Berkeley, California, in which one of his fellow band members was Tony Garnier, the long-time bass player and bandleader for Bob Dylan. Later, Wilkinson was a policeman in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod. His experiences there became the basis for one of his books.

Wilkinson didn’t begin writing seriously until age 24, when he began to show some of his work to William Maxwell, a friend of his father’s. Maxwell was a well-known novelist and writer of short stories who was also a fiction editor at The New Yorker for forty years. Wilkinson’s friendship with Maxwell became the source for another one of his books.

In 1980, Wilkinson became a staff writer at The New Yorker, and has since contributed to the magazine’s “Talk of the Town”, “Comment”, “Reporter at Large”, and “Profile” sections, as well as contributing other articles and series. Several works that began as pieces for The New Yorker became the groundwork for his full-length books.

Alec Wilkinson's Books:

  • 1982 Midnights
  • 1985 Moonshine
  • 1991 The Riverkeeper
  • 1993 A Violent Act
  • 2002 My Mentor
  • 2003 Mr. Apology
  • 2007 The Happiest Man in the World
  • 2009 The Protest Singer: An Intimate Portrait of Pete Seeger
  • 2012 The Ice Balloon

Wilkinson has also won a number of prestigious awards for his writing, including a Guggenheim fellowship, a Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, and a Lyndhurst Prize.

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