Thomas Beller's Books, etc.

Recent work and news:

"J.D. Salinger: The Escape Artist" wins
The New York City Book Award
for Biography/Memoir.


"Somebody's Mother is Waiting in the Lobby"
The New Yorker

"The Egg Cream in Mid-Manhattan"
Harvard Design Magazine

"The Devastating Shutdown of the Cambodia Daily"
The New Yorker

"The Electric-Bike Conundrum"
The New Yorker

"The Fight From Saigon"
The St. Ann's Review

"Frank Ntilikina and French Math At The NBA Draft"
The New Yorker

"Ruth Negga"
Town and Country

"The Warrior's Torrential Victory"
The New Yorker

"Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds: Childhood"
"In Their Lives"

"The Pleasures of The Old Man Game"
The New Yorker

"There's Nowhere To Hide On The Internet"
The New Yorker

"Maybe The Earth Is Flat If You Are Kyrie Irving"
The New Yorker

"A New Orleans All-Star Game Diary #2:
Skills and Dunks"
The New Yorker

"A New Orleans All-Star Game Diary #1"
The New Yorker

"Alexander Chancellor's Laugh"
The New Yorker

"Reviews of work by Dawn DeDeaux, Tom Lowenstein, Philip Roth"
4 Columns

"First Snow"
The New Yorker

"America's First Climate Refugees"
Smithsonian Magazine

"Don Delillo and Move-In Day"
The New Yorker

"Holiday Travel"
The Paris Review

"That Time My Band Opened for Blur"
The New Yorker

"'Gimme Shelter' in Central Park"
The New Yorker

"Angola Prison and the Shadow of Slavery"
The New Yorker

"The City Game?"
The New Yorker

"'The Loved Ones'"
The New York Times

"The Menace in Our Own Backyard"
The New York Times

"Don't Call It Katrina"
The New Yorker

The book is a clue:

"Two Readings with Robert Stone"
The New Yorker

"The Expatriate Knicks Fan"
The New Yorker

"Napoleon on the Backstairs"
The New Yorker

The New York Times Book Review:

The New York Times interview.

The Bookforum interview.

Reading and discussion with Edmund White and Patricia Bosworth: June 5th at the 92nd St Y, New York.

"Her Party"
The New Yorker

Radio/Podcast: An interview with Susan Larson (on New Orleans Public Radio, WWNO), with Janet Coleman on WBAI's Cat Radio, with Pat Towers, on Robin Hood Radio, "the smallest NPR Station in the nation."

The New Yorker's Page Turner:"Books to Look Out For in June."

New York Magazine's Vulture: "8 Books You Need to Read in June,"

The Los Angeles Times: Summer Books Preview, 2014. "J.D. Salinger: The Escape Artist" is available at your local bookstore and these venues: Amazon, Powell's, Indiebound,

"The All-Star Game Diaries"
The New Yorker

Book Review: A Port In The Storm
The New York Times Book Review

"Nirvana For two Year Olds"
The New Yorker

"Generation Crossfit "
The New Yorker

"The Perils of Precocity"
The New Yorker

"The Lady Upstairs"

Vogue. September, P. 472
Excerpt from my forthcoming biography of
J.D. Salinger

"Repeat, Memory"
The New Yorker

"Excerpt from 'A Symposium on Psychoanalysis' by Thomas Beller,
from The Threepenny Review"
International Psychoanalysis

"The Ongoing Story: Twitter and Writing"
The New Yorker

Discussing The Onging Story on:
The New Yorker's Out Loud podcast

"The Mother of All Frequencies or: A Tweet Not Tweeted"
The New Yorker

"'Both Flesh and Not' by David Foster Wallace: Review"
San Francisco Chronicle

"Remembrance of Snows Past"
The New Yorker

The New Yorker

"River of Berman"

"Saying Goodbye To Now"
The New Yorker

Discussing Saying Goodbye To Now on:
The New Yorker's Out Loud podcast

"My Thanksgiving Panic"

"Parking: The Agonies and the Ecstasies"
The New Yorker

Discussing Parking: The Agonies and the Ecstasies on the
The New Yorker's Out Loud Podcast

"The Two Thousand Dollar Popsicle"
The New Yorker

New Orleans' problem with lead paint and kids.

Central Park

The NY Times Review of Central Park

"The Mollification of Manhattan"
The New Yorker

The zoning hearing, the above essay, and the larger debate covered in The New York Times.

"Thomas Beller Needs to Take Better Care of His Things"
The Atlantic Wire

"How I Lost My iPhone in New Orleans, or Some New Adventures of Huck Finn"
The New Yorker

The New Yorker

"In Between Days"
The New York Times, T Magazine

"The Purple Krama"

"An Exile from the Kingdom of Me"
The New Yorker

"Negative Space"
The New York Review of Books

"Saigon on the Bayou"
Travel & Leisure Magazine

"The Topographical Soul"
The Paris Review

Reading Nicolo Tucci's "The Evolution of Knowledge,"
The New Yorker's Fiction Podcast

"Us and Them"

"The Laundry Room"
The Paris Review

Said Sayrafiezadeh reads Thomas Beller's "A Different Kind of Imperfection," and discusses it with The New Yorker's fiction editor, Deborah Treisman.
The New Yorker's Fiction Podcast

A Celebration of Stanley A. Bosworth Saint Ann's School Founding Headmaster, 1965-2004 Church of St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Brooklyn, New York October 15, 2011

"The Maserati Kid"
The Paris Review

"On Steve Jobs"

"Stalking The Stalkers"
The New York Times Magazine

They're at It Again: Stories from Twenty Years of Open City

"'On Abundance,'"
Man with a Pan"

"The closing of H&H Bagels on 80th Street and Broadway sparked a surge of interest into that institution, some of which found its way to 'Portrait of The Bagel As A Young Man," collected in 'How To Be a Man."
The Wall Street Journal's two cents.

"Open City's Closing: 20 years, 30 Issues and 'Life Pressed Into' The Pages"
The Wall Street Journal


"In this short, sensitive and irresistible biography, echoes ricochet from Salinger to Beller and back, bouncing off a word, a phrase, an accent, a memory, a chat with an acquaintance." --Cathleen Schine The New York Times Book Review

"A short but deeply researched, dark, intense biography... studded with original aperçus about the art of biography, the nature of literary influence, and the importance of place to a writer's sensibility."
-- Priscilla Gilman, The Boston Globe

"Highly attuned to the social and economic nuances of Salinger's milieu...So much insight into Salinger's world."
-- Adam Kirsch,

"Fascinating. Extraordinarily informative... A book of gracious and provocative second thoughts."
-- Brian Bethune, Maclean's

"(A) genre-bending nonfiction charmer. Beller's narrative unfolds with the seamless grace one expects from a practiced fiction writer and longtime contributor to The New Yorker magazine. That experience makes him especially sensitive to the literary merits of his subject."
-- Chris Waddington, The New Orleans Times Picayune

"Beller offers a uniquely literary inquiry into the combatively reclusive and epically blocked author of The Catcher in the Rye and beloved short story collections... A fine and stirring portrait of a haunted literary artist.'
-- "Booklist (starred review)

"Rather than writing a straightforward biography, Beller offers here an exceptionally well-researched, deeply felt, and thoughtful exploration of the elusive author's history, in which he probes Salinger's life and prickly familial ties, and their manifestation in his timeless characters and settings."
-- Publisher's Weekly

"Beller writes with intelligence and insight..."
-- The Los Angeles Times

"Some of the best parts of "The Escape Artist" are its asides... Beller has an entertaining style." -- Newsday

"(Beller's) prose was vivid and concise, and possessed the lyrical quality of fiction. It was clear that Beller treated his work, and his subject, with delicacy and care... What I expected to be some invasive act of voyeurism turned out instead to be a work of scholarship, introspection, honesty and sincerity."
-- Stewart Sinclair, The New Orleans Review.

"So engaging, so funny, so witty and intelligent and wise. I had not thought it possible to learn anything more about Salinger, but Beller has done it.
--Philip Lopate, author of To Show and To Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction, Waterfront, and Portrait Inside My Head; Editor of The Art of the Personal Essay.

"The objective, exhaustive biographies of Salinger have been published. Beller supplies us with what's needed now--a book that shines with a deep personal passion for the writer."
--Edmund White, author of Rimbaud: The Double Life of a Rebel and Marcel Proust: A Life

"In this mesmerizing brief biography, Thomas Beller captures in lively fashion the many sides of Salinger's complicated personality: the recluse, the distant father, the eccentric genius writer. And there is another personality here: the biographer himself, at once detective, story teller and acerbic critic rolled into one. It's hugely readable; I couldn't put it down."
--Patricia Bosworth, author of Jane Fonda: The Private Life of a Public Woman

"This book approaches J. D. Salinger's life and art from six or seven angles, all of them acute. Beller reveals his own sensibility along with his subject's, and the result is a wonderfully personal portrait, telling in every detail, gesture, remark and reflection."
--Daniel Menaker, author of My Mistake

"It's hard to imagine a more perfect pairing of author and subject than Thomas Beller and J.D. Salinger. Beller is not just a close reader of Salinger but an intimate companion, an aficionado/scholar whose expansive curiosity, sharp insight, and wry self-awareness make The Escape Artist both a pleasure and an education."
--Meghan Daum, author of My Misspent Youth


Seduction Theory

"Touching and often funny... graced by elegant turns of phrase, a fresh way with metaphor and real insight. Brilliantly captures the great expectations and recurring ambivalence of youth." -- New York Times Book Review

"A touching collection of stories about love in the city... (an) exceptionally memorable... spirited collection." -- Time Magazine


The Sleep-Over Artist

A New York Times Notable Book.

A Los Angeles Times Best Book of 2000.

"Captures perfectly the myriad stages of fear, discovery and elation that mark one's first sexual experience... Beller paints a hauntingly accurate portrait of a love affair laced with grown-up complications."
--New York Times Book Review

"Hits a pitch of anguish so leavened by humour as to keep the reader off guard in a satisfying if disturbing way."
--San Francisco Chronicle

"Beller is a master of the profound and fatal flaw... poetry is everywhere."
--Los Angeles Times

"Smart and funny. Beller has an admirable eye for detail, and a cutting observational wit."
-- Deborah Picker, L.A. Weekly

"A frank, likeable book with an appealing central character."
--Janet Maslin, The New York Times

"Beller is writing in a genre - the guy-coming-of-age - that has been around for a while. But in his modest way he changes the rules."
--Sarah Kerr, Vogue

"Featuring a New York that, like Kundera's Prague, is a vast hive of seductions and betrayals, Beller's carefully crafted debut novel charts the coming-of-age of Alex Fader.... Beller has the true novelist's knack for weaving together the disparate threads of postmodern urban existence into convincing studies of character. The vignettes of Alex's life coalesce into a moving portrait of a young man intuitively seeking a place he can call home."
--Publishers Weekly

"Fresh, sophisticated, and most of all utterly readable."
--Eva Hoffman

How To Be a Man:
Scenes From a Protracted Boyhood
, Barnes and Noble, W.W. Norton.

"Smart, funny, interesting..."
--Jonathan Yardley in The Washington Post

"Beller can write his butt off."
--Donnell Alexander in The San Francisco Chronicle

"A supremely enjoyable collection of essays written in clear, often very funny prose."
--Adrienne Day, in Time Out New York

"Not since I first read Joseph Mitchell have I felt so vividly and beautifully transported to the streets of New York. Thomas Beller is a chronicler of his own life but also of the life of the city, and there's a quality of unbridled curiosity to his work which make his essays shimmer with comedy and insight and exuberance. I absolutely loved this book."
--Jonathan Ames, author of Wake Up, Sir!

"The best sections of his book . . . call to mind Raymond Carver in their clarity of language and subdued emotion. A fine collection of essays that will resonate with many."
--Publishers Weekly

"Elegant descriptions and sophisticated insights that evince the hipness you expect from a lifelong New Yorker and a sweetness and intimacy you might not."
--Carole Goldberg in The Hartford Courant

"An enjoyably mature read."
--Gilbert Cruz, Entertainment Weekly

" Beller's smooth prose and insightful analyses will appeal to fans of good writing everywhere."
--Audrey Snowden, Library Journal

"Doesn't show how to be a man so much as a mensch."
--Jacob Heilbrunn, New York Times Book Review

"These quite marvelous and darkly hilarious personal essays derive their power from a shameless honesty, often about the most shameful moments, which suddenly reveal a luminous upside in the author's comic retelling. Together they give us a privileged view of how curiously attenuated and winding, for many a young American male, is the long march to maturity."
--Phillip Lopate, author of Getting Personal, and Waterfront

"Each meticulous sentence is a crooked finger that lures the reader deeper into his darkly funny world."
--Lauren Gilchrist,
Columbia Spectator


Editors' Choice: New York Times Book Review,



Table of Contents


Manhattan Ate My Car (read)

The Costume Party

Mother Goes to Hollywood (read)

Chemistry Set

The Drummer

The Birthday Suit

Portrait Of The Bagel As AYoung Man

The Problem with T-Shirts

A Biker in the City

Turtles In New York

The Breakup

The Tryout

Addicted To Love

The Last Days of Shakespeare & Company

Scenes From a Playground

A Bike Messenger in the City

Strip Club

A Car Is Not A Castle

Walking The Dog

The Floating Armoire