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about Gay Talese

Gay Talese was born in Ocean City, New Jersey, on February 7th, 1932, to Italian immigrant parents. He attended the University of Alabama, and after graduation was hired as a copyboy at the New York Times. After a brief stint in the Army, Talese returned to the New York Times in 1956 and worked there as a reporter until 1965. Since then he has written for numerous publications, including Esquire, The New Yorker, Newsweek, and Harper's Magazine.

Gay Talese has written fourteen books. His earlier bestsellers deal with the history and influence of the New York Times (The Kingdom and the Power, recently reissued in trade paperback by Random House); the inside story of a Mafia family (Honor Thy Father); the changing moral values of America between World War II and the era before AIDS (Thy Neighbor's Wife); a historical memoir about his family's immigration to America from Italy in the years preceding World War II (Unto the Sons, also recently reissued by Random House); and other such books as The Bridge, about the construction of the Verrazano-Narrows span between Brooklyn and Staten Island; New York: A Serendipiter's Journey, a series of vignettes and essays on New York; and Fame and Obscurity, a collection of his articles principally from the pages of Esquire magazine, where he was credited by Tom Wolfe with the creation of an inventive form of nonfiction writing called "The New Journalism."

© Brennan Cavanaugh

In 2006, he published with Knopf, A Writer's Life, a memoir about the inner workings of exploratory journalism and the interplay between a writer and his subjects. A collection of Talese's sports writing (A Silent Season of a Hero) was published by Walker & Co. in September, 2010.

His most recent book, The Voyeur's Motel," (July 2016) was excerpted in the April 11th, 2016 issue of The New Yorker, and was purchased by producer Steven Spielberg for Dreamworks Films, to be directed by Sam Mendes.

Gay Talese lives with his wife, Nan, in New York City. He is working on a book about marriage for Knopf.

Click here to read an extended biography about Gay Talese

Click here to read an entry on Gay Talese that appeared in American Writers: A Collection of Literary Biographies, edited by Jay Parini. [From Parini, Jay. American Writers. © Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, Inc. Reproduced by permission.]

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