Maud Newton
AUTHOR

Maud Newton

Maud Newton is a writer and critic. Ancestor Trouble: A Reckoning and a Reconciliation (Random House), her first book, has been called “a literary feat” by the New York Times Book Review and a “brilliant mix of personal memoir and cultural observation” by the Boston Globe, praised by Oprah Daily, NPR, the New York Times, Vanity Fair, Vulture, the Los Angeles Times, Wired, and many other publications, and named one of Esquire’s best books of 2022. Excerpts from the book have appeared in Esquire, Time, and the Wall Street Journal. Her essay on “America’s Ancestry Craze,” a seed of the book, was a Harper’s cover story. Newton also writes personal essays, cultural criticism, and fiction. Beyond Harper's, her work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Narrative, the New York Times Book Review, Oxford American, Time, Granta, Bookforum, the Wall Street Journal, the Awl, Longreads, Tin House, Humanities, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, the Paris Review Daily and many other publications and anthologies, including the New York Times bestseller, What My Mother Gave Me. She has discussed ancestors and family history with NPR's All Things Considered, the New York Times Book Review podcast, WNYC, the Dallas Morning News, KERA’s Think, Slate/Future Tense, Wisconsin Public Radio, and PEN. She has also appeared on BookTV, Talk of the Nation, Radio Open Source, the Poured Over podcast, the Maris Review podcast, and more. Newton received the Narrative Prize for “When the Flock Changed,” a work of fiction. Her personal essay, “Conversations You Have at Twenty,” was anthologized in Love is a Four-Letter Word. She was awarded City College’s Irwin and Alice Stark Short Fiction Prize for “Regarding the Insurance Defense Attorney.” Her fiction and essays have been praised by Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, the New Yorker online, Elle, the New York Times, the Paris Review online, and others. Newton was born in Dallas, grew up in Miami, and graduated from the University of Florida with degrees in English and law. Eventually she moved to Brooklyn, and for the past five years she’s lived on Lenape Land in Queens. She started blogging in May 2002 with the aim of finding others who were passionate about books, culture, and politics, and to establish an informal place to write about her life and family. Within a few years, her site had been praised, criticized, and quoted in the New York Times Book Review, Forbes, New York Magazine, the Washington Post, the UK Times, Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, the New York Times, the Guardian, the Telegraph, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Daily News, Poets & Writers, the San Francisco Chronicle, the New Yorker, Book Magazine, London’s Evening Standard, the Scotsman, Slate, the Denver Post, and Canada’s National Post. For Ancestor Trouble, Newton went searching for the truth about her wildly unconventional Southern family—and found that our obsession with ancestors opens up new ways of seeing ourselves. The book is an outgrowth of longstanding preoccupations that she wrote about on her blog.
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