"Assignment America: Selma", The New York Times, March 6, 2015
Fifty years after the police viciously attacked hundreds of marchers in a pivotal moment of the civil rights movement, Selma, Ala. defies neat story lines. (Click here to read Talese's original piece on Selma, which ran in The New York Times Magazine on May 30, 1965, almost three months after the attacks on demonstrators at the Edmund Pettus Bridge.)
"Gore Vidal", Time, August 13, 2012
Gay Talese reflects on the passing of Gore Vidal.
"High Notes", The New Yorker, September 19, 2011
Gay Talese profiles Tony Bennett's day in the studio with Lady Gaga.
"Past Lives", The New Yorker, July 25, 2011
Talese's Talk of the Town story is about the restaurants that occupied 206 East Sixty-third Street, which "has long been identified as the most unpromising address in New York City for aspiring restaurant owners and chefs." Click here to see some of the pages from the notebook Talese used to compile the story, which The New Yorker proclaims, "looks more like work of an outsider artist."
"My Vertical Land Grab", New York Magazine, April 3, 2011
Gay Talese chronicles
how he bought a brownstone on New York City's Upper East Side in 1973 for $175,000, renovations included.
"China Hands", The New Yorker, February 14, 2011
The Metropolitan Opera invited several dignitaries and journalists to the final dress rehearsal of "Nixon in China," which reenacts the historic state visit that Richard Nixon made in 1972 and once described as "the week that changed the world."
"Four Hundred Dresses", The New Yorker, January 3, 2011
The renowned and rotund proprietress of Elaine’s restaurant, on the Upper East Side, who died at eighty-one, left behind, among her worldly possessions, four hundred custom-made dresses. (The New York Observercommented on the story.)
"Travels With a Diva", The New Yorker, December 6, 2010
Gay Talese goes on tour with opera singer Marina Poplavskaya, whose busy performing schedule keeps her shuttling between opera houses around the world. Listen to a related podcast here.
"Endangered Species", The New Yorker, May 31, 2010
Gay Talese writes about the closing of the Italian restaurant Gino, a fixture of the Upper East Side since 1945.
Gay Talese in the dining room of Gino's restaurant
with chef and co-owner Michele Miele. The restaurant opened
in 1945, and closed after sixty-five years in May 2010.
"Waiter, There's a Gavel in My Soup", The New York Times, October 26, 2009
Gay Talese writes about a recent chance encounter with Chief Justice John G. Roberts for The New York Times City Room blog.
"The Upside of Depression", Newsweek, July 29, 2009
Gay Talese contributed a short essay to this Newsweek feature, in which famous survivors of the Great Depression fondly recall a time of resourcefulness, altruism, and even joy.
"Let Them Wear Diesel Jeans", The Daily Beast, October 13, 2008
"We read about the city in financial ruin, and yet, here on Lexington Avenue (Main Street) there are three-thousand people wanting to spend fifty dollars on another pair of jeans," writes Gay Talese.
"Chronicler of the Century Did it All", New York Post, November 11, 2007
"I have never known a contemporary writer who was more famous and who seemed to be less affected by his fame than Norman Mailer," writes Gay Talese.
"The Scion, the Stitch, and the Wardrobe", Vanity Fair, August 27, 2007
Custom-tailored suits, with their carefully sculpted contours and other personalized details, have become a rarity over the last half-century. Gay Talese, a noted clotheshorse who was named to this year's International Best-Dressed List, bemoans the decline of this intimate craft, which was mastered by several generations of his male ancestors, including his father.
"The Kingdom and the Tower", New York Observer, June 27, 2007
On Thursday, June 21, The New York Times spent its last day at 229 West 43rd Street. Gay Talese, the Times' greatest chronicler and a former reporter there, returned to the gothic newspaper castle that housed Sulzbergers, Adolph S. Ochs' ten-foot grandfather clock, thousands of journalists, massive underground presses that still ooze ink and defined an era of journalism.
"Honor Thy Family", Newsweek, June 25, 2007
Tony Soprano's Mafia family was fictional. Joe Bonanno's was not. Gay Talese reveals what happened to the next generation of the American mob.
"Honor Thy Talese", New York Observer, April 23, 2006
Here's a tale of the times from long ago: A southern gentleman editor, Turner Catledge, and some distinguished, horny Sulzbergers (excerpted from A Writer's Life).
"Walking My Cigar", Cigar Aficionado, Autumn 1992
Gay Talese's contribution to Cigar Aficionado's premier issue.
"The Silent Season of a Hero", Esquire, July 1966
"It was not quite spring, the silent season before the search for salmon, and the old fishermen of San Francisco were either painting their boats or repairing their nets along the pier or sitting in the sun talking quietly among themselves, watching the tourists come and go, and smiling, now, as a pretty girl paused to take their picture..."
"Frank Sinatra Has A Cold", Esquire, April 1966
In the winter of 1965, writer Gay Talese arrived in Los Angeles with an assignment from Esquire to profile Frank Sinatra. The legendary singer was approaching fifty, under the weather, out of sorts, and unwilling to be interviewed. So Talese remained in L. A., hoping Sinatra might recover and reconsider, and he began talking to many of the people around Sinatra--his friends, his associates, his family, his countless hangers-on--and observing the man himself wherever he could. The result, "Frank Sinatra Has a Cold," ran in April 1966 and became one of the most celebrated magazine stories ever published, a pioneering example of what came to be called New Journalism--a work of rigorously faithful fact enlivened with the kind of vivid storytelling that had previously been reserved for fiction.
"Where's the Spirit of Selma Now?", The New York Times Magazine, May 30, 1965
Gay Talese reports on Selma, Ala., almost three months after the attacks on demonstrators at the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
"Peter O'Toole on the Ould Sod", Esquire, 1963
[Peter O'Toole] threw his head back, finished his Scotch, then asked
the stewardess for another. Peter O'Toole was sitting in an airplane that one
hour before had left London, where he has long lived in exile, and was flying
to Ireland, his birthplace.
"Looking for Hemingway", Esquire, 1960
Early in the fifties another young generation of American expatriates
in Paris became twenty-six years old, but they were not Sad Young Men, nor
were they Lost; they were the witty, irreverent sons of a conquering nation.
"Times Square Anniversary", The New York Times, November 2, 1953
Gay Talese published his first article (albeit unsigned) in 1953, while working as a copyboy for The New York Times.