Fall 2020 Fundraiser: Contributing Authors

Meet the stellar authors donating their books, their time, and (in some cases) the naming rights to future characters in support of the Independent!

Ken Ackerman is a writer and attorney in Washington, DC, and the author of five books of Americana, including Boss Tweed: The Corrupt Pol who Conceived the Soul of Modern New York and Dark Horse: The Surprise Election and Political Murder of President James A. Garfield. He is a board emeritus member of the Independent.

Cathy Alter’s articles and essays have appeared in O, the Oprah Magazine, Washington Post, the Cut, and WIRED, among others. She’s the author of three books of nonfiction, most recently CRUSH: Writers Reflect on Love, Longing, and the Lasting Power of Their First Celebrity Crush. She lives in Washington, DC, and is a member of the Independent’s board of directors.

Marie Arana, literary director of the Library of Congress, has written a study of Latin-American history and culture (Silver, Sword & Stone), a biography of Simón Bolívar (Bolívar), a memoir (American Chica), and a novel (Cellophane).

E.A. Aymar, a columnist for the Independent, published his most recent novel, They’re Gone, under the pseudonym E.A. Barres. His other books include The Unrepentant and, as co-editor and contributor, The Swamp Killers and The Night of the Flood.

Peter Baker is the chief White House correspondent for the New York Times, an MSNBC contributor, and the author of six books. His latest, The Man Who Ran Washington: The Life and Times of James A. Baker III, co-authored with Susan Glasser, is being published in September.

Michelle Brafman is a writer and teacher. Her fiction has earned numerous awards, including a Special Mention in the Pushcart Prize Anthology. Her work has appeared in Tablet, Slate, the Nervous Breakdown, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere. 

Carrie Callaghan, a senior editor at the Independent, is author of the historical novels A Light of Her Own and Salt the Snow. Her short stories have been published in multiple literary journals.

Susan Coll is the author of five novels, including Beach Week and The Stager. She is president of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation, teaches a year-long novel workshop at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD, and worked as the events and programs director at Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington, DC, for five years.

Ronald K.L. Collins writes principally about free speech and related legal topics. His recent books (with co-author David Skover) include The Trials of Lenny Bruce, Mania (a study of Beat Generation writers), and The Judge: 26 Machiavellian Lessons.

Ellen Crosby, formerly an overseas correspondent, has written 11 Wine Country Mysteries set in and around Virginia vineyards and hunt country. She is also the author of three novels inspired by her international experiences: two mysteries featuring photojournalist Sophie Medina and Moscow Nights.

Daniel De Visé’s nonfiction books include The Comeback: Greg LeMond, the True King of American Cycling, and Legendary Tour de France and Andy & Don: The Making of a Friendship and a Classic American TV Show.

Eric Dezenhall is the author of fiction and nonfiction books that explore the themes and places that have defined his personal and professional life. From the Atlantic City boardwalk to television studios, his books take readers on a guided tour of American media culture.

Paul Dickson has published more than 60 books, including studies of lexicography, baseball, compendia of jokes and toasts, and studies of science and the space program. His most recent book, The Rise of the G.I. Army: 1940-41, traces America’s military preparation for World War II.

E.J. Dionne is a widely published and quoted political commentator and educator whose op-ed columns appear regularly in the Washington Post. His newest book is Code Red: How Progressives and Moderates Can Unite to Save Our Country.

Michael Dirda is a Pulitzer Prize-winning book critic for the Washington Post and the author of five books, including Browsings: A Year of Reading, Collecting, and Living with Books (2015). His book On Conan Doyle was awarded the 2012 Edgar Award in the Best Critical/Biographical category.

Keith Donohue is the New York Times bestselling author of several novels, including The Stolen Child, Angels of Destruction, and The Motion of Puppets. His work has been translated into two dozen languages, and his articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and elsewhere.

Leonard Downie Jr. succeeded Ben Bradlee as executive editor of the Washington Post, a position he held for 17 years. He is the author or co-author of six books, including his latest, a memoir, All About the Story: News, Power, Politics, and the Washington Post.

John A. Farrell writes biographies, including Richard Nixon: The Life (a Pulitzer Prize finalist), Clarence Darrow: Attorney for the Damned, and Tip O’Neill and the Democratic Century.

John Feinstein is a sportswriter, commentator, and bestselling author of more than 25 books for adults and children. His first New York Times number-one bestseller was A Season on the Brink. His latest, The Back Roads to March, returns readers to his first love, college basketball.

Sally Mott Freeman is author of The Jersey Brothers: A Missing Naval Officer in the Pacific and His Family's Quest to Bring Him Home. She was a speechwriter and media and public-relations executive for 25 years and is currently board chair emerita of the Writer's Center in Bethesda, MD.

Marita Golden is an American novelist, nonfiction writer, professor, and co-founder of the Hurston/Wright Foundation, a national organization that serves as a resource center for African-American writers. Her most recent novel, The Wide Circumference of Love, is an exploration of the impact of Alzheimer’s disease on an African-American family.

Ronald Goldfarb, a Washington attorney and literary agent, writes both nonfiction and novels. This year, he has published the novel Recusal (under the pseudonym R.L. Sommer) and a critique of the legal system, The Price of Justice.

Nancy Thorndike Greenspan co-authored four books with her husband, the late child psychiatrist Stanley Greenspan. She is also the author of two biographies, The End of the Certain World: The Life and Science of Max Born and Atomic Spy: The Dark Lives of Klaus Fuchs.

Melanie S. Hatter was the winner of the 2011 Washington Writers' Publishing House Fiction Prize for her debut novel, The Color of My Soul. Her most recent book, Malawi’s Sisters, was published last year to wide acclaim.

Angie Kim is the debut author of the international bestseller and Edgar winner Miracle Creeknamed a “Best Book of the Year” by Time, the Washington Post, Kirkus, and the Today Show, among others. Kim has written for Vogue, the New York Times Book Review, the Washington Post, Glamour, and numerous literary journals. 

Tara Laskowski is author of the suspense novel One Night Gone, which won the Agatha Award for Best First Novel and was a finalist for the Lefty Award and the Mary Higgins Clark Award. She is also a columnist for the Independent.

Linda Lear, an environmental historian and member emerita of the Independent’s board of directors, is the author of two prize-winning biographies: Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature and Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature. She wrote the introduction to the 50th-anniversary edition of Carson's Silent Spring and edited an anthology of her unpublished writing, Lost Woods: The Discovered Writing of Rachel Carson.

Jane Leavy has written innovative biographies of three giants of 20th-century baseball, The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World He Created, The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood, and Sandy Koufax: A Lefty’s Legacy. Her novel, Squeeze Play, centers on a female sportswriter.

Bob Luke is the author of several books, including The Baltimore Elite Giants: Sport and Society in the Age of Negro League Baseball, Soldiering for Freedom: How the Union Army Recruited, Trained, and Deployed the U.S. Colored Troops, and Dean of Umpires: A Biography of Bill McGowan, 1896-1954.

Thomas Mallon’s political novels span American history from the 1940s (Dewey Defeats Truman) to the 21st century (Landfall). His nonfiction books include literary criticism (In Fact) and a study of letter-writing (Yours Ever).

David Maraniss, an associate editor at the Washington Post, where he has worked since 1977, and a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, is the author of 12 books, including biographies of Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, and a family memoir, A Good American Family.

Greg May brings a fresh and vigorous perspective to American financial history. Decades of work on historic preservation have given him a lively sense of the past as a tangible world, and long familiarity with finance has helped him to decode the evidence about America’s financial founding.

Alice McDermott is an acclaimed author and winner of the National Book Award and the American Book Award for her 1998 novel, Charming Billy. The most recent of her eight novels is The Ninth Hour, published in 2017. She is also Richard A. Macksey Professor of the Humanities at the Johns Hopkins University, where she teaches writing to graduate students.

Eugene L. Meyer is a journalist and author of three books, most recently, Five for Freedom: The African American Soldiers in John Brown’s Army, named best book of history/biography by the American Society of Journalists and Authors. The Washington Independent Review of Books gave him its lifetime achievement award in 2019.

Carolyn Parkhurst is the bestselling author of the novels The Dogs of Babel, Lost and Found, and Harmony, among others. An only child, the DC-based Parkhurst says she wrote her first story at age 3 by dictating The Table Family to her mother. 

Brad Parks is an internationally bestselling author and winner of multiple prestigious awards for crime fiction. His novels include Interference, The Last Act, and Say Nothing.

George Pelecanos, well known for his work as a film and television producer and writer on the HBO series “The Wire,” “Treme,” and “The Deuce,” is the author of 20 books of detective fiction primarily set in and around his hometown of Washington, DC. His most recent novel is The Man Who Came Uptown.

Leslie Pietrzyk is a DC-based author whose books include the novel Silver Girl and the short-story collection This Angel on My Chest, winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize. Her story “Stay There” was awarded a Pushcart Prize in 2020. 

John F. Ross’ narrative nonfiction includes The Promise of the Grand Canyon: John Wesley Powell’s Perilous Journey; Enduring Courage: Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed; and War on the Run: The Epic Story of Robert Rogers.

Colleen J. Shogan’s Stabbing in the Senate was awarded the Next Generation Indie Prize for Best Mystery. Her Homicide in the House was a finalist for the RONE Award for Best Mystery. And Calamity at the Continental Club, another of her books, was a finalist in the “best cozy mystery” at Killer Nashville.

Dave Singleton is an award-winning writer, editor, and multimedia communicator. He is the author of three nonfiction books, including CRUSH: Writers Reflect on Love, Longing, and the Lasting Power of Their First Celebrity Crush. His essays have appeared in Salon and the Scoundrel Times, among other publications.

Daniel Stashower is the author of mystery novels that feature Harry Houdini, as well as several works of nonfiction, including Teller of Tales: The Life of Arthur Conan Doyle; The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln; and The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe, and the Invention of Murder.

Alice Stephens, who has lived and worked on four continents, writes a popular bimonthly column, “Alice in Wordland,” for the Independent. Her debut novel is Famous Adopted People.

David O. Stewart, former president of the Independent, writes narrative history, including Madison’s Gift, American Emperor (about Aaron Burr), and Impeached (the Andrew Johnson impeachment). His historical mystery series began with The Lincoln Deception, about the John Wilkes Booth conspiracy.

Art Taylor is author of the story collection The Boy Detective & The Summer of ’74 and Other Tales of Suspense and of the novel-in-stories On the Road with Del & Louisewinner of the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. He is also a columnist for the Independent. 

David A. Taylor is a DC-based writer whose books include Cork Wars: Intrigue and Industry in World War II. He writes about revealing connections between people and their worlds. His writing has appeared in Smithsonian, the Washington Post, the Village Voice, Outside, the Christian Science Monitor, Science, and Oxford American.

Evan Thomas is the author of 10 nonfiction books. His recent works include First: Sandra Day O’Connor; Being Nixon: A Man Divided; and Ike’s Bluff: President Eisenhower’s Battle to Save the World.

Tim Wendel is the award-winning author of 14 books, including Summer of '68: The Season That Changed Baseball - And America – Forever, Castro's Curveball, and Cancer Crossings: A Brother, His Doctors, and the Quest for a Cure to Childhood Leukemia. A writer-in-residence at Johns Hopkins, his work has appeared in Esquire, Gargoyle, National Geographic, and elsewhere.

Bob Woodward, the Washington Post reporter who, with Carl Bernstein, broke the Watergate story that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon, has authored 17 and co-authored three bestselling books. His latest is Rage, a sequel to Fear: Trump in the White House.

Tom Young, a former combat airman, served in Afghanistan and Iran with the Air National Guard. His military-adventure novels include The Mullah’s Storm, Sand and Fire, The Renegades, and, most recently, Silver Wings, Iron Cross.