From the inimitable New Yorker journalist Lillian Ross—“a collection of her most luminous New Yorker pieces” (Entertainment Weekly, grade: A).
A staff writer for The New Yorker since 1945, Lillian Ross is one of the few journalists who worked for both the magazine’s founding editor, Harold Ross, and its current editor, David Remnick. She “made journalistic history by pioneering the kind of novelistic nonfiction that inspired later work” (The New York Times).
Reporting Always is a collection of Ross’s iconic New Yorker profiles and “Talk of the Town” pieces that spans forty years. “This glorious collection by a master of the form” (Susan Orlean) brings the reader into the hotel rooms of Ernest Hemingway, John Huston, and Charlie Chaplin; Robin Williams’s living room and movie set; Harry Winston’s office; the tennis court with John McEnroe; Ellen Barkin’s New York City home, the crosstown bus with upper east side school children; and into the lives of other famous, and not so famous, individuals.
“Millennials would do well to study Ross and to study her closely,” says Lena Dunham. Whether reading for pleasure or to learn about the craft, Reporting Always is a joy for readers of all ages.
Lillian Ross is an American journalist and author who has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1945. She began as a “Talk of the Town” reporter and, over the course of her career, she has written hundreds of pieces, contributing to nearly every section of the magazine.
"Lillian Ross is a consummate reporter, and therefore remains on the fringes of these unforgettable pieces of writing. But there is no doubt about her place in the pantheon of radical and dogged female storytellers. Millennials would do well to study Ross and to study her closely:her style, her technique, and her legend.”
– Lena Dunham
"For anyone interested in movies from the 50s on, Lillian Ross’s profiles were essential. They still are. And that was my way into her irreplaceable body of writing.”
– Martin Scorsese
"Lillian Ross is the model for all narrative journalists. Open-eyed, sharp-witted, and fundamentally kind-hearted, she has diamond-hard reporting skills and an effortlessly graceful way with words. Each story here shows her at her best, as keen storyteller and social observer, whether she is peering into the world of Hollywood swells or bumbling school kids or wherever else her curiosity takes her. This is a glorious collection by a master of the form."
– Susan Orlean
“Exceptionally curious, exceedingly brave, with a perfect ear: through Lillian Ross and her classic reporting, we've gotten the chance to sneak into the private words of the great and the fascinating(Chaplin, Hemingway, Truffaut, Huston). One of the most important and influential journalists alive.”
– Wes Anderson
Lillian Ross has elevated journalism--storytelling--to an art but it is her art, singular and brilliant.Her innate sense of form and eye for the telling, often humorous detail, are part of what makes her work so indelible and influential--that and her understanding of how the family of man becomes just that.
– Hilton Als
“Readers are invested in Ross' work because she's invested. She has the ability to dive deep into the minds and hearts of interviewees, and readers are lucky that through her writing, they are able to come along for the ride.”
– Lincee Ray, Associated Press
"The occasion for this piece—a big writer with a new book out—feels perfect for The New Yorker’s Talk of the Town, where Ross mastered the art of brief, revealing stories about the famous and less famous using scenes, dialogue and a novelist’s eye for details and pacing. Before there was the New Journalism, there was Lillian Ross, with her French Clairefontaine notepads, getting out of the office, away from the phone, and jotting down everything she heard and saw—“That girl,” Edmund Wilson once wrote, “with the built-in tape recorder.”
– Michael Rosenwald, Columbia Journalism Review
“Lillian Ross started working at The New Yorker in 1945… By mid century, she had made journalistic history by pioneering the kind of novelistic nonfiction that inspired later work like Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood.” Ms. Ross has collected many of her signature pieces, including that Hemingway profile, along with newer work, into a book that stretches over 60 years of journalism…[She] largely invented the modern entertainment profile; [her] particular skill was to charm her subjects into revealing their most unscripted, id-like selves, as Hemingway memorably did during a three-day tour of New York City with Ms. Ross at his side.”
– Penelope Green, The New York Times
“Ross's work remains fresh and vibrant despite the passage of decades, a model of what patient observation, deep listening, and stringent craft can achieve.”
– Pamela Erens, The New York Times Book Review
Praise for Lillian Ross:
"Lillian Ross is the mistress of selectively listening and viewing, of capturing the one moment that entirely illumines the scene, of fastening on the one quote that tells all. She is a brilliant interpreter of what she hears and observes."
– Irving Wallace
"Even though Reporting Always contains mostly period pieces, with special relevance for older readers, they are such remarkable examples of the art of the interview that younger readers, too, should relish them."
– Providence Journal
"[Reporting Always] is a rich pleasure and an encounter with a pioneering vision. . . . . One of Ross’s greatest talents lies in the cool clarity of her gaze: somehow she sees things and people simultaneously unsentimentally and with great warmth. . . . . And we like [the subjects she profiles] not because she has told us to, but because she has shown us, with candor and respect, who they are.”