Alex Mar is a writer based in her hometown of New York City and in upstate New York. Her first book, Witches of America (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), was a New York Times Notable Book in non-fiction, a New York Times Editors’ Pick, among The Millions’ “Most Anticipated Books,” one of The Believer‘s “Favorite Books” and Huffington Post Books’ “Most Notable” of the year, and a Marie Claire “Top Book-Club Pick.” Some of her recent work has appeared in The Believer, Wired, New York Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The Guardian, Elle, Tin House, The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Oxford American, The Best American Magazine Writing, and the Ecco anthology Unspeakable Acts (an NPR “Best Book of the Year”). She has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award (ASME) for Feature Writing, and her essays have been included in Longreads’ and BuzzFeed’s year-end lists. Formerly an editor at Rolling Stone, she has been a guest correspondent for CBS, ABC, National Public Radio, and the BBC. She is also the director of the feature-length documentary American Mystic, now streaming on Amazon, and her work has been optioned and developed for television and film. After five years of immersive research and writing, Mar will publish her second non-fiction book, Seventy Times Seven, in March 2023 through Penguin Press. She is a first-generation American, of Cuban and Greek descent.

Mar’s work has been praised as “unique and vital” (The New York Times Book Review)…“weird and wonderful” (Elle)…“enchanting and addictive” (Kirkus Review)…“sharp and noteworthy” (NPR)…“expertly crafted” (Publishers Weekly)…“brave and sharp and tenaciously researched” (John Jeremiah Sullivan)…“written with a beguiling blend of heart and wit” (Leslie Jamison)…“stories that could only be done by Alex Mar” (the Longform Podcast).


“Alex Mar’s bold yet sensitive account of one of America’s youngest death row inmates—and the people whose lives she forever changed—is intimately reported, deeply moving, and unforgettable.” —Robert Kolker, New York Times bestselling author of Hidden Valley Road

“In Seventy Times Seven, Alex Mar has reached back to the 1980s to explore a shocking murder case. But this book is not only about crime and punishment; it raises urgent questions that are common to all of us—about how children develop into social beings, about who is capable of rehabilitation, and about how we mend the damage that runs through generations. Deeply researched and deeply felt, Seventy Times Seven is an absorbing work of social history and a story about the mystery and miracle of forgiveness. This is a book of awesome scope, and it deserves to be read with attention.”Hilary Mantel, Booker Prize-winning author of the Wolf Hall trilogy

Seventy Times Seven is a devastating and essential book, a meticulous deconstruction of the social fears and personal calculations that built and still uphold the death penalty in America. A brilliant reporter and empathetic narrator, Alex Mar has written the truest kind of crime drama, unafraid of rendering our narratives about justice less comforting.” —Sierra Crane Murdoch, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Yellow Bird

“Alex Mar’s Seventy Times Seven is a monumental achievement, probing the toughest questions that all nonfiction crime narratives must ask and emerging with a story of profound moral inquiry, the limits of where we can find justice, and the power of compassion. When we wish to understand ourselves and society at our worst and at our best, look no further than this book.” —Sarah Weinman, author of The Real Lolita and Scoundrel

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SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS (Journalism / Creative Nonfiction / Comparative Religion)
Colleen Osborne at Macmillan Speakers Bureau: