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Jeff Sharlet is a journalist and bestselling author or editor of seven books, including The Family, the basis for a 2019 Netflix documentary series, The Family, of which he is executive producer. His most recent book, combining image and text, is This Brilliant Darkness: A Book of Strangers. "Gorgeous," says The New York Times, "[t]he book ingeniously reminds us that all of our lives — our struggles, desires, grief — happen concurrently with everyone else’s, and this awareness helps dissolve the boundaries between us." Sharlet's other books include Sweet Heaven When I Die, C Street, and, with Peter Manseau, Killing the Buddha, and two edited volumes, Radiant Truths, and (with Manseau) Believer, Beware. His writing on Russia's anti-LGBTQ crusade earned the National Magazine Award for Reporting, and his writing on anti-LGBT campaigns in Uganda earned the Molly Ivins Prize and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission's Outspoken Award, among others. He has also been the recipient of numerous fellowships from the MacDowell Colony. Sharlet is an editor-at-large for VQR, a contributing editor for Harper’s and Rolling Stone, and a contributor to publications including The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, GQ, Esquire, Mother Jones, Bookforum, and others. At Dartmouth College, he is the publisher of 40 Towns and a member of the Society of Fellows.
RECENT JOURNALISM: I've been taking a break from longterm book projects to report on and think about the Trump 2020 campaign for Vanity Fair, starting with this long story from a series of campaign rallies around the country, "The Second Coming." Shortly after that published, I tuned into Trump's mid-pandemic Tulsa rally. Then Trump opened the GOP convention by talking about "12 more years." It scarier from there as Trump doubled down on his deal with the Christian Right, promoting a "biblical capitalism." Meanwhile, out beyond blue bubbles a new Trump flag was flying, declaring "F--k Your Feelings." Trump proposed a "patriotic history" centered on the preservation of white supremacy. There's more to come, unfortunately. This is a Hodor election.
BOOKS + A MOVIE
2020: Washington, D.C.: Keynote Speaker, Americans United For Separation of Church and State Convention.
2020: New York: “Otherwise,” at House of Speakeasy, Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater.
2020: University of Virginia: This Brilliant Darkness.
2020: Los Angeles: L.A. Community Action Network, This Brilliant Darkness, in conversation with Jody Armour.
2020: Pomona College: “Very Bad People: Journalism, Identity, and the Trumpocene’s New Enemies Within,” plenary address, The Humanities Studio Presents: Colloquium on Fake News.
2019: New York University: The Family, a screening and conversation with Jeff Sharlet and Jesse Moss,
2019: Boston University, “Empathy for the Devil: On Writing About Wickedness and Weakness,” The Power of Narrative Conference.
2018: University of Southern California Annenberg School, “This Brilliant Darkness."
2017: University of California at Davis: “Fables of the Trumpocene: On Reading and Reporting Religion in the Secular Kingdom.”
2017: University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth: “The Darkness Show: On Jokes and Terror in Paris.”
Undone: An Incomplete History of Unfinished Stories, under contract with W.W. Norton
The Undertow, a collection of essays, under contract with W.W. Norton
"North America," a book of words and pictures