Photo by Karisha Hickman

Photo by Karisha Hickman

I’m an independent journalist based in Brooklyn. I specialize in finding and telling complex stories that challenge conventional notions about people and their motivations. As a national fellow with New America, I'm working on a book for Little, Brown and Company, a narrative history of a philanthropic experiment, begun in the 1960s, to integrate elite private schools of the South.

During 17 years working as a journalist, I uncovered injustices, covered courts, cops and social services, profiled citizens improving their communities and artists making them more beautiful. I’ve knocked on doors and talked to strangers about their lives, listened to personal stories of triumph and loss. My reporting helped free an innocent man from prison and at its best is immersive, taking readers into worlds they would not otherwise encounter. I care as much about form – structure, language, style – as about the drama and ideas that the form frames.

After five years covering a variety of beats for the metropolitan section of The New York Times, I left daily journalism in 2016 to begin working independently on longform, narrative stories. Before joining The Times, I was a reporter at ProPublica, the investigative newsroom, where I honed my investigative skills. And before ProPublica, I came of age at alternative weekly newspapers. My work has won numerous local and national awards, and I was awarded a Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellowship in 2015. 

In addition to my feature work, I’m exploring documentary radio and fiction writing. When I’m not writing or thinking about writing, I'm practicing piano or biking around Brooklyn. I grew up in Atlanta and graduated from Harvard College. If you would like to know more, send me a note or check out my LinkedIn page. For literary inquiries, contact my agent, Philippa Brophy, of Sterling Lord Literistic.

"This is the strain of journalism that elevates the profession: crusading and authoritative, passionate and clearly told."

-Casey Medal Award citation, 2008