Monday, August 24, 2015

Stephanie Clifford

Stephanie Clifford is a Loeb-award winning reporter at the New York Times, where she has covered business, media and New York City. She is currently a Metro reporter covering federal and state courts in Brooklyn. She joined the Times in 2008 from Inc. magazine, where she was a senior writer. Clifford grew up in Seattle and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, son and two cats.

Everybody Rise is Clifford's first book.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Her reply:
I just finished Cristina HenrĂ­quez' The Book of Unknown Americans. HenrĂ­quez's details give such a vivid sense of her characters' lives - the rundown Delaware apartment building that the characters live in, one of the father's jobs at a mushroom-packaging factory where he has to work in the dark. It's about moving to America, and it's also about family and sacrifice and what you do for your kids.

Next up is V.V. Ganeshananthan's Love Marriage, which I somehow missed when it came out. Good things come to those who wait, though - I've heard wonderful things about the book. Sugi and I were on the college paper together, and she is such a smart storyteller - I can't wait to see what she does in fiction form.

I've been a reporter at the New York Times for about eight years, and a little over a year ago, I began covering Brooklyn courts, which is everything from Mafia cases to gang trials to people being cleared of decades-old convictions after spending most of their lives in prison. I've gotten very interested in criminal justice issues, writ large, as a result of seeing what goes on here every day. I'm in the middle of Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow, which makes a compelling argument about the effects of mass incarceration.

One of the things I started doing as I began writing Everybody Rise was memorizing poetry to help with phrasing and rhythm. I began with the likes of Eliot (I had Prufrock in its entirety memorized at one point), Keats, Christina Rossetti - and I'm now moving into the contemporary realm, reading poets like Carol Ann Duffy.
Visit Stephanie Clifford's website.

--Marshal Zeringue