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Lawrence Wright's Biography

Member Info

Oct 2007

Lawrence Wright is an author, screenwriter, playwright, and a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine.

He is a graduate of Tulane University, in New Orleans, Louisiana, and the American University in Cairo, where he taught English and received master of arts in Applied Linguistics in 1969. Upon his return to the United States in 1971, Wright began his writing career at the race relations reporter in Nashville, Tennessee. Two years later, he went to work for Southern Voices, a publication of the Southern Regional Council in Atlanta, Georgia, and began to freelance for various national magazines. In 1980, Wright returned to Texas to work for Texas Monthly. He also became a contributing editor to Rolling Stone. In December 1992, he joined the staff of The New Yorker, where he published a number of notable articles, which have won him the National Magazine Award for reporting as well as the John Bartlow Martin Award for Public Interest Magazine Journalism, and Overseas Press Club’s Ed Cunningham Award for best magazine reporting.

Wright is the co-writer (with Ed Zwick and Menno Meyjes) of The Siege, starring Denzel Washington, Bruce Willis, and Annette Bening, which appeared in November 1998. He also wrote the script of the Showtime movie, Noriega: God’s Favorite, directed by Roger Spottiswoode and starring Bob Hoskins, which aired in April 2000.

His history of al-Qaeda, The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 (Knopf, 2006) was published to immediate and widespread acclaim, spending eight weeks on The New York Times bestseller list and being translated into more than a dozen foreign languages. It was nominated for the National Book Award and won the Lionel Gelber Award for nonfiction, the Los Angeles Times Award for History, the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, the New York Public Library Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism, and the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction.

In 2006, he premiered his one-man play, My Trip to al-Qaeda, at The New Yorker Festival, and then enjoyed a sold-out six-week run at the Culture Project in Soho.

Wright has published six previous books. City Children, Country Summer (Scribner’s, 1979), In the New World: Growing Up with America, 1960 - 1984 (Knopf, 1988), Saints & Sinners (Knopf, 1993), Remembering Satan (Knopf, 1994), Twins: Genes, Environment, and the Mystery of Identity (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1997; Wiley & Sons, 1998), and God’s Favorite (Simon & Schuster, 2000).

Wright is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He also serves as the keyboard player in the Austin-based blues band Who Do.

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Publishers

Knopf
Simon & Schuster
Vintage
Wiley John & Sons