• blue·stock·ing noun \-ˌstä-kiŋ\
    : an educated woman who is interested in books and ideas

  • recent

    Hurricane Harvey and the End of the Administrative State


    Los Angeles Review of Books

    Border stories

    The Hunters and the Hunted

    The U.S.-Mexico Border is the 21st Century Frontier

  • New in 2017

    Waiting for Charlie: Mercenary Soldiers, Failed States and the Love That Means More Than Money

    Ebook available on Amazon and Kobo

    Trade paperback is out! Amazon and Barnes and Noble


    "...in the tone and style of the best work of the great travel writers, Bruce Chatwin, Paul Theroux and Eric Newby's "A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush," only the focus is Africa, which it captures with brilliant insight."


    William Thatcher Dowell, Africa correspondent, Time magazine, NBC News

    Hurricane Season: What Katrina Means for America

    Available as a Kindle Single Amazon $3.99

    "Hurricane Season is such a good read about New Orleans and Louisiana, capturing its decadence, its history and pathos. But it also tells the lessons of Katrina that are so badly needed today as Houston and the Gulf Coast climb out of the floodwaters and into a future of change and uncertainty."


    Rocky Barker, author, Scorched Earth: How the Yellowstone Fires Changed America

    Coming in 2018: Anniversary Edition

    The Environmental Cult Classic

    Coyotes and Town Dogs: Earth First! and the Environmental Movement

    Anniversary Edition with Afterword and Errata

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    Tell me what you say!

    Susan is a world-class reporter, writer and editor whom I was privileged to edit during my tenure as deputy editor of the LA Weekly. Susan is the epitome of a journalist -- a seeker of truth who cuts no corners and tells stories an engaging, creative, lively fashion that makes readers want to follow where she is taking us.


    Joe Donnelly, LA Weekly, Slake, Mission and State

    As editor of the anthology, Naked, Zakin worked with a variety of talent, including T. C. Boyle to Carl Hiaasen. Zakin was impressive in her ability to walk the author through a series of line edits that would improve the story and do so without causing the writer to run screaming from the building in despair.


    Jack Hitt, contributor to This American Life, author of Bunch of Amateurs, former editor Harper's

  • Books

    Coyotes and Town Dogs: Earth First! and the Environmental Movement


    Susan Zakin's writing is brilliant and irreverent, tough and funny, opinionated and sometimes outrageous. But this is also a serious work, the most thorough and thoughtful survey of the American environmental movement I have seen.


    —Brad Knickerbocker, The Christian Science Monitor


          Naked: Writers Uncover the

    Way We Live on Earth



    Through fiction, narrative nonfiction, and memoir, this edgy anthology could have been titled "The New Environmental Writing" as Tom Wolfe once dubbed an anthology "New Journalism." Accomplished writers selected include Zakin herself, who deals with the desert, divorce and more in "Tierra Incognita"; Edward Abbey, whose unpublished letters are annotated by Zakin; and Elizabeth Royte, who spent part of a pregnancy in the wilds of Panama.

    —Publisher's Weekly

    In Katrina's Wake: Portraits of Loss from an Unnatural Disaster

    Jordan's poetic images are accompanied by clarion essays by environmental writers Bill McKibben and Susan Zakin, making this an execeptionally artistic and thought-provoking response to a never-to-be-forgotten calamity. 


    In "A Fallen Corner of the World" Zakin shuffles together a psychological anatomy lesson on New Orleans and an elegy for it —a clever, intuitive meditation that should be required reading on these subjects.

    The Simon

  • In progress

    Novel: The Afterlife of Victor Kamara

    With a reporter's keen-eyed understanding of politics, and a novelist's gift for inventing flawed yet sympathetic characters, Zakin tells the story of a young West African coup leader and the journalist who befriends him. The Afterlife of Victor Kamara traces the fraught, intimate friendship between two young men in an increasingly unstable world, from the dirty wars of 1990s West Africa to the present-day United States.


    Inhabiting the territory of Graham Greene and Nadine Gordimer, this is a story of politics and survival, where nations are at stake and friendship rarely survives the machinations of power.

    Zakin’s fiction demonstrates the same gifts so evident in her non-fiction: strong storytelling, multidimensional characterization, and lyrical description. Her first novel is an ambitious work showing the collapse of civil society in a West African country. I cannot overstate how much I admire it. I expect the book to win Zakin great distinction.


    Elizabeth Evans, author of Carter Clay

    Susan Zakin is responsible for three books that sit prominently on my office shelf. One is Coyotes and Town Dogs: Earth First! and the Environmental Movement, a work that I consider part of the canon of American history because of the way Zakin places the U.S. conservation movement within the context of larger ideas. The second is an anthology of experimental writing on the environment called Naked: Writers Uncover the Way We Live on Earth, with many distinguished contributors as well as provocative emerging writers. A recent book, In Katrina’s Wake: Portraits of Loss from an Unnatural Disaster, shows Zakin’s ability to make sense of the fraught, intimate, and inescapable relationship between nature and humanity.


    But a while back, Susan started writing fiction, smart work informed by her experience in the U.S. and abroad. I’ve read excerpts from her novel, The Afterlife of Victor Kamara, which deals expertly with the very contemporary issue of identity in a globalizing world. The passages I’ve read have that utter conviction of place that only authors like Graham Greene can pull off.


    David Galef, director, creative writing, Montclair State University

  • Contact

    In Sierra Leone researching The Afterlife of Victor Kamara.

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