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What I’m Reading: Jason Fagone

November 6, 2013

Dog Ear Consultants


It’s hard to remember that Jason Fagone was once one of us. A former staff writer at The Penn Stater, he’s gone on to write for everyone from The Atlantic to Esquire to WIRED. Other details worth sharing: He’s impossibly tall, incredibly kind and thoughtful, has a lively Twitter presence, and still owes us $7 from a 2003 lunch at a cheap Mexican place in Philly. His second book—Ingenious: A True Story of Invention, Automotive Daring, and the Race to Revive America—hits shelves this week, so we checked in with him to see what magazine articles are inspiring him these days and why. Take it away, Fagone:

1. Paige Williams, “Composition in Black and White,” The New Yorker
Long, beautiful piece about the black “outsider” artist Thornton Dial and his white friend/collector/benefactor/champion, Bill Arnett. I couldn’t love this more.

2. Wright Thompson, “Unity with the Universe,” ESPN
The story of a paralyzed man and his wife who make fly-fishing rods by hand in Montana. Thompson does something really difficult here — he brings to life the bond between a husband and wife.

3. Elon Green, “Gay Talese and ‘Frank Sinatra Has a Cold,” Nieman Storyboard
Green interviewed writer Gay Talese for five hours about probably the most famous story in magazine-land, Talese’s 1966 profile of Frank Sinatra. The format is an annotation — you can read the original story with Talese’s comments interspersed. A fascinating window into the creation of the “new journalism,” or whatever you want to call it.

4. Jeff Sharlet, “Voice and Hammer,” Virginia Quarterly Review
A profile of Harry Belafonte. This is how you do the profile thing.

5. Stephen Rodrick, “Robert Redford’s Restless Solitude,” Men’s Journal
This is also how you do the profile thing.

Happy reading, y’all.


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