Lawrence Wright is an author, screenwriter, playwright, and a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine.
He is a graduate of Tulane University, in New Orleans, and the American University in Cairo. He began his writing career at The Race Relations Reporter in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1971. In 1980, Wright went to work for Texas Monthly. He also became a contributing editor to Rolling Stone. In 1992, he joined the staff of The New Yorker, where he was published a number of prize-winning articles, including two National Magazine Awards.
Wright is the co-writer (with director Ed Zwick and Menno Meyjes) of “The Siege” (1998) starring Denzel Washington, Bruce Willis, and Annette Bening. He also wrote the script for the Showtime movie “Noriega: God’s Favorite”(2000) starring Bob Hoskins.
Wright is the author of ten non-fiction books. “Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief” (Knopf, 2013) was a New York Times bestseller and was made into an HBO documentary, winning three Emmys. His book about the rise of al-Qaeda, “The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11” (Knopf, 2006) was published to immediate and widespread acclaim. It won many awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction. It has been published in 25 languages. It was made into a series for Hulu in 2018, starring Jeff Daniels, Alec Baldwin, and Tahar Rahim.
In 2006, Wright premiered his one-man play, “My Trip to al-Qaeda,” at The New Yorker Festival, which then enjoyed a sold-out six-week run at the Culture Project in Soho. It was made into a documentary film of the same name for HBO. Wright also wrote and performed another one-man show, “The Human Scale,” concerning the standoff between Israel and Hamas over the abduction of an Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit. The Public Theater produced the play, which ran for a month off-Broadway in 2010 before moving to the Cameri Theater in Tel Aviv.
In addition to his one-man productions, Wright has written five other plays that have enjoyed productions around the country, including “Camp David,” about the Carter, Begin, and Sadat summit; and “Cleo,” about the making of the movie “Cleopatra.”
Wright has published two novels. “God’s Favorite” (Simon & Schuster, 2000), and the bestselling, critically acclaimed “The End of October” (Knopf, 2020).
Wright is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Society of American Historians. He also serves as the keyboard player in the Austin-based blues band, WhoDo.
Interviews and Profiles of Lawrence Wright
A Careful Writer Stalks the Truth About Scientology
The New York Times
January 2, 2013
Asharq Al-Awsat Interview (in Arabic)
In My Library
New York Post
September 26, 2010
By Nora Ankrum, The Austin Chronicle
September 26, 2010
A Profile of Lawrence Wright (in Arabic)
By Mohammed el-Shafei, Al Sharq Al-Awsat
June 25, 2009
Profile in the Austin American-Statesman
August 6, 2006
Q & A with the New Yorker's Lawrence Wright (English)
Interview by Mohammed Alkhereiji
January 7, 2006
"High Profile: Lawrence Wright"
By Bill Marvel, Dallas Morning News
February 16, 2003
Interview with Prof. Robert S. Boynton
NYU School of Journalism
November 3, 2002