Discipline: Literature – nonfiction

Alex Marzano-Lesnevich

Discipline: Literature – nonfiction
Region: Columbus, OH
MacDowell Fellowships: 2011, 2015, 2023

Alex Marzano-Lesnevich is the author of The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir, which received a Lambda Literary Award, the Chautauqua Prize, the Grand Prix des Lectrices ELLE, the Prix des libraires du Quebec, and the Prix France Inter-JDD, an award for one book of any genre in the world. They worked on the book in two residencies at MacDowell. It went on to be named one of the best books of the year by Entertainment Weekly, Audible.com, Bustle, Book Riot, The Times of London, The Guardian, Paris Match, Lire, Telerama, and The Sydney Press Herald, it was an Indie Next Pick and a Junior Library Guild selection, long-listed for the Gordon Burn Prize, short-listed for the CWA Gold Dagger, a finalist for a New England Book Award and a Goodreads Choice Award. It has been translated into 11 languages.

Alex is a recipient of fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts, MacDowell, Yaddo, the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Civitella Ranieri, the Camargo Foundation, the Heinrich Böll Foundation, the Eccles Centre at the British Library, the Maine Arts Commission, and received a Rona Jaffe Award.

They have written for The New York Times, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, The Boston Globe, Oxford American, Harper’s, and many other publications. Their work has twice been reprinted in The Best American Essays.

They earned their B.A. at Columbia University, their J.D. at Harvard Law School, and their M.F.A. at Emerson College. In July 2023 they will become the Rogers Chair in creative nonfiction at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

At MacDowell in 2011, they wrote several new chapters of The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir, a manuscript of combined memoir and literary journalism about a Louisiana death penalty case. They also finished two essays and drafted a short story. During their 2015 Fellowship, they finished a draft The Fact of a Body.

In 2023, they researched and wrote substantive portions of their second book, Both and Neither, which is forthcoming from Doubleday and publishers internationally. Essays they wrote exploring themes and ideas in the book have been published in The New York Times, Harper's, Harvard Review, and Agni and reprinted in the 2020 and 2022 editions of The Best American Essays.

Portrait by Beowulf Sheehan


New Jersey

Alex Marzano-Lesnevich worked in the New Jersey studio.

The yellow clapboard New Jersey Studio, located on a grassy, sloping site, was funded by the New Jersey Federation of Women’s Clubs and built as an exact replica of Monday Music Studio (1913). The studio’s porch rests on fieldstone piers that increase in height as the ground slopes to the west. Like Monday Music Studio, New Jersey…

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