I was born in 1969 and grew up in Lexington, MA. My parents were both English professors, so naturally I read a lot. I read a lot in college too, and read even more in graduate school. Then I moved to New York City and started writing full time.
I’m probably best-known for the Magicians trilogy. The Magicians was published in 2009, and it was a New York Times bestseller and one of the New Yorker‘s best books of the year. The sequel, The Magician King, was a Times bestseller too, and the third Magicians book, The Magician’s Land, debuted at #1 and was a Times Notable Book of the Year. The Magicians books have now been published in thirty countries and adapted as a TV show that ran for five seasons on Syfy.
My newest book, The Silver Arrow, a novel for children, was published in September 2020. It was a bestseller and was on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Apple and Amazon best-of-the-year lists. I’m developing a TV series called The Heavens with the Russo Brothers at Amazon. I also wrote a movie called The Map of Tiny Perfect Things which will be on Amazon Prime in the spring of 2021.
I’ve also done a lot of journalism. I was both the lead technology writer and the book critic at Time magazine for fifteen years, from 2002 through 2016. I wrote more than 20 cover stories there, and the New York Times described me as “among this country’s smartest and most reliable critics.” My essays and criticism have also been published in Vanity Fair, the Believer, the Village Voice, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Salon, Slate, Wired, Entertainment Weekly, the Week, Buzzfeed, NPR, Lingua Franca and many other places. I’ve won several awards for journalism, including a Deadline award in 2006, and I was a runner-up for the National Book Critic Circle’s Nona Balakian award for excellence in reviewing in 2012.
I’ve given many talks and lectures at festivals and on campuses, including at Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Oxford. In 2018 I was the Mary Higgins Clark Chair in Creative Writing at Fordham College.
I live in Brooklyn with my wife and three children in a creaky old house.