Margaret Talbot


Photo by Nina Subin

Selected Works

Nonfiction
A shimmering blend of social history, Hollywood biography, and family memoir

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Margaret Talbot is a journalist and author. She grew up in Los Angeles (where, strangely, she never learned to drive), graduated from North Hollywood High and UC Berkeley, and attended history graduate school at Harvard (never did get that doctorate.) A staff writer at The New Yorker since 2003, she was formerly a contributing writer at The New York Times magazine, executive editor of The New Republic, and a founding editor of Lingua Franca: The Review of Academic Life. Margaret's articles, reviews and essays have also appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times Book Review, National Geographic and More, among other publications, and been anthologized in several collections, including The Best American Science Writing (2002, 2008, and 2009), The Art of the Essay and Because I Said So. She is the recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award, and has been a United States-Japan Foundation Media Fellow and a Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation. Her first book The Entertainer: Movies, Magic, and My Father's Twentieth Century, was published by Riverhead in November 2012 and will be available in paperback in November 2013. Margaret serves on the board of the PEN/​Faulkner Foundation, and with Mary Kay Zuravleff, co-chairs its program committee, curating an annual reading series at the Folger Shakespeare Library. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband, writer Arthur Allen, their two children, Ike and Lucy, and an absurdly large Bernese Mountain dog.


Margaret enjoys speaking with readers, writers, and students about magazine journalism and narrative non-fiction, as well as participating in book groups, screenings and classic film festivals. To invite her to one of yours, send her an e-mail through the contact page. Check her upcoming schedule on the events page.