From the inimitable New Yorker journalist Lillian Ross—“a collection of her most luminous New Yorker pieces” (Entertainment Weekly, grade: A).
A staff writer for The New Yorker since 1945, Lillian Ross is one of the few journalists who worked for both the magazine’s founding editor, Harold Ross, and its current editor, David Remnick. She “made journalistic history by pioneering the kind of novelistic nonfiction that inspired later work” (The New York Times).
Reporting Always is a collection of Ross’s iconic New Yorker profiles and “Talk of the Town” pieces that spans forty years. “This glorious collection by a master of the form” (Susan Orlean) brings the reader into the hotel rooms of Ernest Hemingway, John Huston, and Charlie Chaplin; Robin Williams’s living room and movie set; Harry Winston’s office; the tennis court with John McEnroe; Ellen Barkin’s New York City home, the crosstown bus with upper east side school children; and into the lives of other famous, and not so famous, individuals.
“Millennials would do well to study Ross and to study her closely,” says Lena Dunham. Whether reading for pleasure or to learn about the craft, Reporting Always is a joy for readers of all ages.
This enticing volume of 32 selected works from Ross's tenure at the New Yorker is filled with gems written over the course of the veteran staff writer's seven-decade career. The collection, which is organized into categories such as "Players," "Youngsters," and "Big Cheeses," prioritizes subject over chronology and shows the consistency of Ross's reporting over the years. Several pieces deal with actors and directors. Ross captures Julie Andrews, for example, at the start of her stage career in 1954. She follows Maggie Smith and Judi Dench when they arrive in New York City to promote the 2005 film Ladies in Lavender, carefully observing as the dames navigate a series of newspaper interviews and television appearances. Ross also imbues less famous individuals with punch and personality. In a piece from 1995, he reports on 10th graders who attend private high schools on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The teenagers are blunt and strong-willed, a subculture unto themselves. Writing about celebrities, Ross shows how they can be like the rest of us; focusing occasionally on seemingly mundane folks, she reminds readers that ordinary is not necessarily dull.