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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Like cracking a safe

“Writing a nonfiction story is like cracking a safe. It seems impossible at the beginning, but once you're in, you're in.” – Rich Cohen 

Cohen not only is “in” but has become one of today's best nonfiction writers while maintaining a notable career as a contributing editor for Vanity Fair.  And, he's earned his chops as a screenwriter for a number of hit television series, including joining with Martin Scorsese, Terrence Winter and Mick Jagger on the current HBO hit series Vinyl.  

With nonfiction topics ranging from the Jewish mobsters of the 1920s and 1930s to the development of artificial sweetener to an in-depth look at the 1985 Super Bowl Champion Chicago Bears, his many books have been consistent New York Times bestsellers and New York Times Notable Books. Many of his magazine pieces have been collected in the Best American Essays series. 

As a fearless “time-traveler,” he is equally adept at commenting on ancient Jewish history and biblical stories as he is about the contemporary appeal of Larry David or Woody Allen.

A native of the Chicago area who now makes his home in Connecticut, he studied at Tulane University and then went into magazine journalism in New York City.  In addition to his books and screenplays he continues writing regularly for Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone and The New Yorker.  Noted for his writing about celebrities, he said he is fascinated by celebrities’ appeal.    

“I have long believed that celebrity, the way we worship and package and sell our stars, is what filled the need for gods that was once filled by the pictures in stained glass…in other words, a pantheon of saints without the hassle and heartache of religion.”

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