Jacques Leslie began his writing career in 1972 as a Los Angeles Times war correspondent in Vietnam, where he became the first American journalist to enter Viet Cong territory. He spent six years as a correspondent, and was stationed successively in Saigon, Phnom Penh, Washington D.C., New Delhi, Madrid, and Hong Kong. His reporting won two national awards, the Sigma Delta Chi Distinguished Service Award for foreign correspondence and an Overseas Press Club citation, and two Times nominations for a Pulitzer Prize. He was also expelled from two countries (South Vietnam and India), evacuated by helicopter from a third (Cambodia), and wounded once.
Determined to write more deeply than he could for a newspaper, Leslie left the Times in 1977, and over years turned himself into a writer of narrative nonfiction. He has written two books, The Mark: A War Correspondent’s Memoir of Vietnam and Cambodia, published by Four Walls Eight Windows in 1995, and Deep Water: The Epic Struggle Over Dams, Displaced People, and the Environment, published by Farrar Straus & Giroux in 2005. Deep Water won the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award, was a finalist for the Northern California Book Award in nonfiction, and was named one of the top science books of the year by Discover Magazine. Deep Water is the first product of his current focus, which is to write narrative nonfiction about the world’s most pressing environmental issues. His most recent effort, “The Last Empire,” the cover story of Mother Jones Magazine’s January/February 2008 issue (http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2008/01/the-last-empire.html), describes the horrific international environmental impacts of China’s economic growth.
Leslie has written for nearly every major magazine in the United States, including Harper’s, The Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine, Wired, Orion, Mother Jones, the Columbia Journalism Review, OnEarth, the Washington Monthly, Newsweek, and many others. An essay about a shoe repairman, “Lisa’s Shoe,” (http://www.drunkenboat.com/db8/index.html) won the 2006 Drunken Boat Panliterary award in nonfiction.
For more information, visit http://www.jacquesleslie.com.
Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Resource Renewal Institute
Earth Island Institute
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