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Jeff Sharlet

Jeff Sharlet is associate professor of creative writing at Dartmouth College and a contributing editor to VQR. He is the author or editor of six books, including The Family (Harper Perennial, 2009), Sweet Heaven When I Die (Norton, 2011), and, most recently, Radiant Truths (Yale, 2014)Follow him on Instagram @JeffSharlet


Photographs by Jeff Sharlet


Spring 2016 | Articles

1. “They say the Bataclan was the first attack on music,” says Bart, “but ’twas not. ’Twas the Miami Showband.” Bart’s come to help me set up a projector at Trinity College, where I’m to talk today about Instagram. We project one o [...]

Belafonte with Ed Sullivan, mid-1950s. (Everett Collection)

Voice and Hammer

Fall 2013 | Profiles

Once, more than half a century ago, he was the handsomest man in the world. A radiant man. It was a matter of bearing, of voice and gesture and timing. He had that high, buttery baritone, nothing special really, except, he says, “I knew how to use it.”

Behind ​the ​Beautiful Forevers. By Katherine Boo. Random House, 2012. 288p. HB, $27.

Like a Novel: The Marketing of Literary Nonfiction

Summer 2013 | Criticism

Offered up by blurbers with the best of intentions, the immediacy implicit in the description like a novel suggests that the book on hand can be engaged with as art rather than as fact, so realist it’s not real; a story rather than the state of things, a condition in which we might be complicit. 

Like a Novel

April 11, 2013 | Criticism

I recently read KatherineBoo’s 2012 National Book Award–winning portrait of a Mumbai slum, Behind the Beautiful Forevers, with my students in a creative nonfiction class at Dartmouth College. Boo spent a little more than three years in the slum [...]


A Harry Belafonte Playlist

October 8, 2013 | Multimedia

I like stories that allow me to linger, to circle back, to return to a set of words, an image, a song I can’t get out of my mind. In writing “Voice and Hammer,” it was the 1959 broadcast of Tonight With Belafonte, and the chain-gang songs with which Belafonte declared himself more than just the “King of Calypso.”