Today’s Match      |      Previous Matches      |      TOB Brackets [PDF]      |      Judges      |      About      |      Buy the Books from      |      Rooster T-Shirts
The Morning News and Powells Present
2006 Tournament of Books

Kevin Guilfoile’s debut novel, Cast of Shadows, was published by Knopf in 2005. He is also the co-author (with John Warner) of the best-selling book My First Presidentiary: A Scrapbook by George W. Bush. He lives in the Chicago area with his wife Mo, his son Max, and a cat you wouldn’t like.


Andrew Womack lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. A number of months ago he saw a pregnant Nicole Krauss walking a dog—he assumes it was her and Jonathan Safran Foer’s Lab—along the edge of Prospect Park.

Rosecrans Baldwin lives with his wife in Brooklyn. He has no personal connections to any of the participating authors.

Booth Expert

John Warner is co-author (with Kevin Guilfoile) of My First Presidentiary: A Scrapbook by George W. Bush, and author of Fondling Your Muse: Infallible Advice from a Published Author to the Writerly Aspirant. He is the editor of McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and teaches at Clemson University.


Choire Sicha likes books, and jaunts of book-judging juggernauts! He is a senior editor at the New York Observer, the pink sassy paper that comes out on Wednesdays and is totally awesome. Connections to ToB authors: “I met Nicole Krauss once, outside Penn Station. She was dropping off Jonathan. Not sure where he was going, but I do believe he was using a train to get there.”

Kate Schlegel has lived in Brooklyn for nearly seven years; before that, she lived in Athens, Ohio, for four years, and Columbus, Ohio, for 18 years. She is an associate editor at The Morning News and an assistant news editor at The last book she read before this year’s tournament started was Carson McCullers’s The Ballad of the Sad Cafe. Connections to ToB authors: “I got nothing. Don’t even know what these people look like, so if I’ve seen them around the neighborhood [Park Slope-ed.], they just blended in with all the other wannabe-artists.”

Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Georgie Lewis has made Portland, Oregon, her home for the last seven years (though she could be tempted to move should expand their offices to Paris or Edinburgh). Georgie is part of the marketing team at and engaged at a variety of tasks including heading-up the popular Review-a-Day program. Connections to ToB authors: “I don’t have any connections to any of the authors.”

Jessica Francis Kane’s first collection of stories, Bending Heaven, was published by Counterpoint in the US and Chatto & Windus in the UK. Her stories have been broadcast on BBC radio and have appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, McSweeney’s, The Missouri Review, Book Magazine, Swivel, and other publications. Her essays and humor pieces have appeared in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and The Morning News, for which she is a contributing writer. Kane has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony and the VCCA, and was the recipient of the 2001 Lawrence Foundation Prize. At the moment she lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter. Connections to ToB authors: “No connections here. I was at MacDowell with Mary Gaitskill, but I seriously doubt she’d even remember. She’d just finished Veronica and was in a bit of a daze. A daze the rest of us envied, of course.”

Anthony Doerr is the author of The Shell Collector, a collection of stories, and About Grace, a novel. The Shell Collector was a New York Times Notable Book and an ALA Book of the Year. It won several awards including the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Young Lions Award from the New York Public Library. About Grace was named one of Best Books of 2004 by the Washington Post and was a finalist for the PEN USA fiction award. Doerr also writes a column on science-related books for the Boston Globe. Connections to ToB authors: “I sat across from Zadie Smith at a dinner party in London once. And I served as a final judge for the NYPL Young Lions Award with Foer a couple years ago.”

Nell James is a 17-year-old multi-instrumentalist/composer, web designer, artist and unschooler. She was once paid $1,500 to design a logo of a cartoon elephant for a British financier’s vacation home in Southeast Asia (gotta love the Internet). She grew up bicoastal, living in San Francisco, CA and Long Island, NY. She is enamored with ‘70s progressive rock bands such as Yes and Gentle Giant. She runs a popular fan club for Steven Drozd of the Flaming Lips. Generally speaking, Nell is more interested by most old things than most new things. Her greatest unlikely-to-be-achieved ambition is to master the cornetto. Connections to ToB authors: “I’m clean! No author connections.”

Karl Iagnemma is a robotics researcher, and author of the short story collection On the Nature of Human Romantic Interaction. His writing has appeared in The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Erotica, and The IEEE Transactions on Robotics. Visit for more information. Connections to ToB authors: “I have absolutely no connection to any of those authors, whatsoever. In fact I’ve never even heard of four of them. A perk of being a full-time roboticist, I guess...”

Whitney Pastorek is a writer, musician, and international star of stage and screen. She is the executive editor of Pindeldyboz, and currently works as a correspondent for Entertainment Weekly. A complete list of everything is constantly in flux at Connections to ToB authors: “The only person I’ve had any extended contact with is Zadie, but it’s just because she used to date a friend of mine.”

Jessa Crispin is the editor of Connections to ToB authors: “I have no connection to any of them.”

Mark Sarvas lives the quiet life in Santa Monica. He has written episodic comedy for HBO and Showtime as well as screenplays for Warner Brothers, producer David Foster, and the World Entertainment and Business Network. Most recently, his fiction has appeared in Troika Magazine, The Wisconsin Review, Apostrophe, Thought Magazine, Pindeldyboz and as part of the Spoken Interludes and Vermin on the Mount reading series in Los Angeles. His book reviews have appeared in The Modern Word, Boldtype and the Los Angeles Review, and he is currently at work on his first novel. He is best known as the host of the popular and controversial literary weblog "The Elegant Variation" which has been mentioned in The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Guardian (A Top 10 Literary Blog), Forbes Magazine (Best of the Web), Los Angeles Magazine (A Top L.A. Blog), The Scotsman, Salon, Slate, The Village Voice, NPR and numerous other fine publications. He is also a founding member of the Litblog Co-op, a group of 20 literary blogs dedicated to drawing attention to the best of contemporary fiction. Connections to ToB authors: “It turns out my agent and I are looking to option some of Sam Lipsyte’s work. All this came in after I did my judging, but there it is...”

Maud Newton is an editor, writer and blogger who can’t stop quoting Mark Twain on her website. (She even dreams about him, but we won’t get into that.) Her articles and reviews have appeared in The American Prospect, The Boston Globe, The New York Times Book Review, Newsday, The Washington Post Book World, Maisonneuve, and Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood. She has been working on a novel for [mumble, mumble] years. Please do not ask her how it is going. Connections to ToB authors: “I have no connections with any of the authors. I have exchanged two or three polite email messages with Zadie Smith.”

Adrienne Brodeur’s first novel, Man Camp, was published by Random House in 2005. Additionally, she founded the fiction magazine Zoetrope: All-Story with filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola and served as its editor-in-chief from 1996 to 2002, during which time it won the National Magazine Award for Best Fiction. She has served as a judge for the National Book Award, the New York Public Library’s Young Lion’s fiction award, and other contests. Connections to ToB authors: “No connections here...”

Brigid Hughes is the founding editor of A Public Space, a new magazine that debuted in February 2006. Previously, she was the executive editor of The Paris Review. Connections to ToB authors: “When I was first starting out as an editor at The Paris Review, more than ten years ago, Nicole Krauss was an intern. No conflicts with any of the other authors."

Dale Peck says: In the immortal words of the immortal mistress, Joan Didion, "You know me, or think you do." For everything else, including pictures with hatchet and without, there’s Google. Connections to ToB authors: “I’m friends with Jonathan and Nicole. I’ve known Mary professionally for many years.”

Eleanor Bukowsky has been an Adult Services Librarian at the Brooklyn Public Library for the past thirteen years. She has conducted dozens of book discussions for library patrons and local community groups. In addition, Eleanor is an active reviewer for and Connections to ToB authors: “I have no personal connection to these authors.”