The bestselling author of The Orchid Thief is back with this delightfully entertaining collection of her best and brightest profiles. Acclaimed New Yorker writer Susan Orlean brings her wry sensibility, exuberant voice, and peculiar curiosities to a fascinating range of subjects—from the well known (Bill Blass) to the unknown (a typical ten-year-old boy) to the formerly known (the 1960s girl group the Shaggs).
Passionate people. Famous people. Short people. And one championship show dog named Biff, who from a certain angle looks a lot like Bill Clinton. Orlean transports us into the lives of eccentric and extraordinary characters—like Cristina Sánchez, the eponymous bullfighter, the first female matador of Spain—and writes with such insight and candor that readers will feel as if they’ve met each and every one of them.
The result is a luminous and joyful tour of the human condition as seen through the eyes of the writer heralded by the Chicago Tribune as a “journalist dynamo.”
“Orlean’s snapshot-vivid, pitch-perfect prose...is fast becoming one of our national treasures.”
—The Washington Post Book World
“Susan Orlean is a master of the quick sketch....She writes arresting, short pieces, serendipitous material that readers stumble across by chance, then read on, transfixed by the casual grace and beauty of these miniatures.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“Through the power of energetic reporting and sharp writing, the national character is precisely what Orlean captures. She is a kind of latter-day Tocqueville.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“Reading Bullfighter will leave you convinced that the world is much wider and stranger than you had thought and that the most ordinary-seeming people are often the most remarkable.”