David Grann is staff writer at The New Yorker magazine and the author of the books The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession and The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon. The Lost City of Z was a #1 New York Times bestseller and has been translated into more than twenty-five languages.
Grann's stories have appeared in The Best American Crime Writing of 2004, 2005, and 2009; The Best American Sports Writing, of 2003 and 2006; and The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2009. Grann has previously written for the New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, and The New Republic.
Before joining The New Yorker in 2003, Grann was a senior editor at The New Republic, and, from 1995 until 1996, the executive editor of the newspaper The Hill. He holds master's degrees in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy as well as in creative writing from Boston University. After graduating from Connecticut College in 1989, he received a Thomas Watson Fellowship and did research in Mexico, where he began his career in journalism. He currently lives in New York with his wife and two children.
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A Q&A with David Grann, author of The Lost City of Z
When did you first stumble upon the story of Percy Fawcett and his search
for an ancient civilization in the Amazonand when did you realize this
particular story had you in "the grip"?
While I was researching a story on the mysterious death of the world's greatest Sherlock Holmes expert, I came upon a reference to Fawcett's role in inspiring Arthur Conan Doyle's novel The Lost World. Curious, I plugged Fawcett's name into a newspaper database and was amazed by the headlines that appeared, including "THREE MEN FACE CANNIBALS IN RELIC QUEST" and tribesmen "Seize Movie Actor Seeking to Rescue Fawcett." As I read each story, I became more and more curiousabout how Fawcett's quest for a lost city and his disappearance had captivated the world; how for decades hundreds of scientists and explorers had tried to find evidence of Fawcett's missing party and the City of Z; and how countless seekers had disappeared or died from starvation, diseases, attacks by wild animals, or poisonous arrows. What intrigued me most, though, was the notion of Z. For years most scientists had considered the brutal conditions in the ...
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