Thomas Mallon in the NYT

from Sunday’s Book Review:

Thomas Mallon began contributing to the Book Review 25 years ago, just after the publication of “A Book of One’s Own: People and Their Diaries.”

Since then, he’s written four other nonfiction books and seven novels, and taken detours into academia, magazine editing and even government bureaucracy (as deputy chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities). Small wonder, then, that only now is he finishing the companion volume to his diaries book, “Yours Ever: People and Their Letters,” which will be published this fall. Mallon does most of his writing in the turret at the top of his Victorian house in Washington, the city where three of his novels — as well as a novel-in-progress about the Watergate era — are set.Though he’s content to make Washington his home, Mallon has, he explained in a recent e-mail message, long been drawn to New Orleans, whose pre- and post-­Katrina incarnations are detailed in the book he reviews in this issue, Dan Baum’s “Nine Lives.” Mallon’s most recent visit to the city was in the spring of 2006. “The French Quarter,” he recalled, “was undamaged but horribly underpopulated. You could have ridden a bicycle down Bourbon Street at midnight without worrying about knocking somebody over.”

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