I’m drawn to little-known stories at the margins of American life and history. I was raised on Nancy Drew; I love uncovering secrets. But, for me, mystery is an engine that leads to big questions that linger long after the plot has been resolved.

TV and Film

With my writing partner, HOMELAND executive story editor Charlotte Stoudt, I’m developing projects that include a serial TV drama based on the true story of scientific experiment at Johns Hopkins in the 1960s (in development at Amazon studios); a mini-series based on a sensational 1920’s divorce and civil rights case; a half-hour comedy series set in a sperm bank; and an immersive theater piece.


I wrote the work of investigative narrative journalism, Fire in a Canebrake: The Last Mass Lynching in America (Scribner, 2003).


I’m the author of many magazine pieces, some of which have appeared in The New York TimesThe Washington Post Magazine, Doubletake, Utne Reader, The Oxford American and Baltimore Style magazine, where I served as senior editor for 11 years.

Here are a few of my favorites: