The Leon Levy Center for Biography has awarded fellowships worth $60,000 each to four writers who are currently working on new biographies. One of them is Colin Asher, whose tentatively titled biography of Nelson Algren, But Never a Lovely So Real, is under contract to W. W. Norton & Company. The other recipients are Blake Gopnik for a biography of Andy Warhol, Gordana-Dana Grozdanić for a biography of the Bosnian writer Zija Dizdarević, and Eric K. Washington for a biography of James H. Williams, the former chief porter of Grand Central Terminal.
The biography center is headed by the cultural commentator, biographer, and former jazz critic Gary Giddins, and is based at the CUNY Graduate Center in Manhattan. For more details about the recipients of the 2015-16 biography fellowships, click the full announcement. Asher asked me to write one of his letters of recommendation, and my inordinately proud staff of thousands believes it may have helped (click to enlarge):