A graduate of Cowell College of the University of California at Santa Cruz (1974), was for over 20 years (1981-2002), until his recent retirement, a staff writer at The New Yorker, where his work shuttled between political tragedies and cultural comedies. He is a two-time winner of the George Polk Award (for Cultural Reporting in 1988 and Magazine Reporting in 1992) and was also a recipient of Lannan Literary Award (1998). His books of political reportage include The Passion of Poland (1984); A Miracle, A Universe: Settling Accounts with Torturers (1990); and Calamities of Exile: Three Nonfiction Novellas (1998). He has taught, variously, at Princeton, Columbia, UCSC, Bard, Vassar, NYU, and Sarah Lawrence. He is currently director of the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU, where he has been a fellow since 1991, and from which base he is trying to start his own semiannual journal of writing and visual culture, Omnivore. He is also a contributing editor to McSweeney’s and the Threepeeny Review; (recently retired) chair of the Sundance (formerly Soros) Documentary Film Fund; and director of the Ernst Toch Society, dedicated to the promulgation of the music of his grandfather, the noted Weimar emigre composer.