annawiener asked: Hi Sam! I've been really into essays/nonfiction recently, but I've noticed that my favorite writers -- Geoff Dyer, John Jeremiah Sullivan, Tom Bissell, Wells Tower, David Foster Wallace, Gideon Lewis-Kraus, Eliot Weinberger -- are all male. Can you recommend any female authors who are currently doing similar things in terms of style & content (writing long-form, slightly meandering, personal-journalistic essays / cultural commentary)? Thanks!
Hello Anna! Recently I thought about deciding to go by all three of my names, because that seemed like a good trick to becoming a young man essayist: DFW, JJS, GLK, etc. Anyway, there’s Zadie Smith, of course, but she’s probably only one of that stature. (And, duh, Joan Didion.) Eula Biss comes to mind, and Dubravka Ugresic, but she’s Croatian and I think you’ve read her. Chris Kraus and Maggie Nelson seem almost right, but not exactly. I’ve also heard a good thing or two about Meghan Daum. But I don’t know: It does feel like there’s some kind of complicated lack. Anyone want to try to explain?