Thursday, January 25, 2018

Laurie Gwen Shapiro

Laurie Gwen Shapiro has most recently written articles for publications including The New Yorker, New York Magazine, The Daily Beast, Slate, Aeon, Los Angeles Review of Books, and has her own history column focusing on unsung heroes for The Forward. Shapiro is also a documentary filmmaker who won an Independent Spirit Award for directing IFC’s Keep the River On Your Right: A Modern Cannibal Tale and an Emmy nomination for producing HBO’s Finishing Heaven.

Shapiro's new book is The Stowaway: A Young Man's Extraordinary Adventure to Antarctica.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Her reply:
I love to read books that are true heavily-researched stories that unfold like novels. My two favorite books I read recently was Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann, and Douglas Preston’s Lost City of the Monkey God.

Grann was the writer who most inspired me to write narrative non-fiction. He has a true knack for making the 1920’s come alive. I loved Grann’s Lost City of Z too. This latest offering from him was about the oil-rich Native Americans – members of the Osage tribe - who were getting murdered in the Roaring 20s.

Preston’s latest book resonated with me because in my other career as a documentary maker I filmed in the Amazon for a month directing Keep the River on Your Right (IFC 2001) with my brother. The Amazon is haunting and this true story that unfolds in the Honduras jungle just wows – searching for Ciudad Blanca (“The White City”), a legendary ruin hidden in the dense jungle of eastern Honduras. The city was also known as “the Lost City of the Monkey God” and everyone thought it was only a legend – I don’t want to say more – I hate spoilers.

Just read both if you haven’t. By the way, they were on my dream list of blurbers for The Stowaway. And when both blurbed I almost passed out.
Visit Laurie Gwen Shapiro's website.

The Page 99 Test: The Stowaway.

--Marshal Zeringue