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About Alex Mar

Photo by Norman Jean Roy

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 nonfiction, 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.” After five years of immersive research and writing, Mar has just published her second nonfiction book, Seventy Times Seven (Penguin Press), which was recently a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and received enthusiastic praise in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine (Best Books of 2023), Amazon Book Review (Editors’ Pick), and Publishers Weekly; it was also included among Literary Hub’s and Goodreads Readers’ “Most Anticipated” books. Some of her journalism and essays have appeared in The Believer, Wired, New York Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times Book Review, The Guardian, Elle, The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Oxford American, The Best American Magazine Writing, and the anthology Unspeakable Acts (an NPR “Best Book of the Year”); and she has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award (ASME) for Feature Writing. 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, currently streaming on Kino Now, and her writing has been optioned and developed for television and film. Mar is a first-generation American, of Cuban and Greek descent.

Mar’s work has been praised as “unique and vital” and “stunning” (The New York Times Book Review)… “probing and moving” (The Wall Street Journal)… “elegant and sure” (New York Magazine)… “weird and wonderful” (Elle)… “enchanting and addictive” (Kirkus Review)… “sharp and noteworthy” (NPR)… “expertly crafted” (Publishers Weekly)… “profoundly affecting” (Booklist)… “of awesome scope” (Hilary Mantel)… “brave and sharp and tenaciously researched” (John Jeremiah Sullivan)… “intimately reported, deeply moving, and unforgettable” (Robert Kolker)… “written with a beguiling blend of heart and wit” (Leslie Jamison)… “stories that could only be done by Alex Mar” (the Longform Podcast). Reviews of her latest book, Seventy Times Seven, can be found here.