News & Events

June 08, 2021

NYT Praises ‘The Plague Year’

Sonali Deraniyagala writes today in The New York Times that “Wright’s storytelling dexterity makes all this come alive,” and “keeps us hooked with his details.”

June 07, 2021

Early Reviews Praise Lawrence Wright’s “The Plague Year”

Reviews are already in for The Plague Year and they’re looking good. The Booklist starred review says it’s “by far the best book yet on COVID-19.” Minneapolis Star-Tribune says, “Wright is at his commanding best.” Boston Globe deems the book an “incredibly crafted telling.” Below you can find a link to these reviews and more information about purchasing "The Plague Year"

April 25, 2020

TUESDAY: Virtual Book Launch with Nicholas Kristof

Wright will discuss his prescient new book with Nicholas Kristof via Zoom.

September 11, 2016

Radio Interview with On Point

Wright sits down with WBUR’s On Point to discuss the 15th anniversary of 9/11, his new book The Terror Years, and where we are now, in the age of terrorism.

August 26, 2016

Wright Talks Terror on NPR’s All Things Considered

Don’t miss Wright’s recent appearance on NPR’s news show, All Things Considered

POSTED IN: In the News, Middle East
June 24, 2015

New Yorker: The Families of the ISIS hostages in Syria

A Note from Lawrence Wright

My piece on the five families of reporters and aid workers captured in Syria. Most emotional piece I've ever done:

POSTED IN: Middle East
September 09, 2014

Wright on the New Yorker Blog: The Saudis and a 9/11 Mystery

Why are twenty-eight pages of Congress’s report on the attacks still classified?

May 18, 2014

Going Clear Recommended If You’re NOT on Vacation

Novelist Emma Straub ranks Going Clear as the #3 book to read if you’re NOT going on vacation this summer. Something about how creepy Florida religious compounds can be, apparently.

April 30, 2014

Bob Hoskins, R.I.P.

A Note from Lawrence Wright

Bob Hoskins passed away.

He starred in my 2000 movie, Noriega: God's Favorite. He said he had taken the role because it passed the "cold bum test." Whenever he got a new script, he took it to the toilet to read. If he liked it, he read the whole thing, and then he had a cold bum.

Only time he ever got upset with me was when I was holding an umbrella over his head in the harsh sun of the Philippines, where we were filming, and he was attired in a yellow jump suit that I had indicated in the script. "You make me look like fuckin' Winnie the Pooh!" He really did look like that.

He was a wonderful actor and a fine man.

POSTED IN: Movies, Personal
April 23, 2014

Interview with Assharq al-Awsat

Wright sat down with Assharq al-Awsat, the leading Arabic language paper. The interview is only available in Arabic. 

April 03, 2014

‘Going Clear’ Wins IRE Award for Best Investigative Journalism

A Note from Lawrence Wright

What a wonderful honor by my colleagues in the investigative press.

From the judges: 

Wright's investigation of the Church of Scientology is groundbreaking in its examination of one of the most well known, but secretive, religion organizations in the world. He draws on previously secret documents—including internal works of the church's founder L. Ron Hubbard—interviews with former and current members of the church and hundreds of court records to present a hard-hitting, but balanced view of church and its followers. The book shines a light on the church's harsh treatment of those who try to leave, but also highlights those, including some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, who have benefited from its teachings. The book also explores the complicated biography of the church’s founder and its relationship with its most famous member, actor Tom Cruise. Despite threats from the church, which is known for its aggressive defense of its works and members, this work provides the best understanding of Scientology to date.

April 02, 2014

American Theatre Tells How ‘Camp David’ Came to Life

The April issue of American Theatre magazine profiles Wright and explores how the new play, Camp David, came to life. 

Each of Wright’s plays has been “a big step forward,” [Oskar] Eustis remarks. When playwrights create drama from journalism, “the biggest hurdle is demonstrating to people that the theatre has something to add to this discussion. And there are few people who are better qualified to do that than Larry.”

April 02, 2014

Curtain Rises for ‘Camp David’

A Note from Lawrence Wright

We open “Camp David” tomorrow night, with President and Ms. Carter in attendance, along with Jehan Sadat.

Maximum pressure on the actors. And the playwright!

March 24, 2014

Jewish Daily Forward Previews ‘Camp David’

“Nations don’t make peace, people do. That fundamental rule of foreign policy is at the crux of Camp David, Lawrence Wright’s new play about the 1979 Israel-Egypt peace negotiations, which is receiving its world premiere at Washington’s venerable Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater.”

March 21, 2014

This Weekend: See ‘Camp David,’ Says Washington Post

“Diplomacy wonks will be paying close attention to "Camp David," a dramatic adaptation of 1978's 13-day Middle East peace summit between President Jimmy Carter (Richard Thomas), Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin (Ron Rifkin) and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat (Khaled Nabawy). The play, which makes its world premiere at Arena Stage, is written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright, a staff writer for the New Yorker. The opening performance is Friday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $55-$110; get them here.”

March 20, 2014

‘Camp David’ in Washingtonian

“It’s hard to imagine many dramatists getting access to a former President and First Lady while researching a production. But few have Lawrence Wright’s résumé…”

March 19, 2014

VIDEO: POLITICO Talks with ‘Camp David’

POLITICO interviews Wright and longtime Carter aide, Gerald Rafshoon, about Camp David, which starts previews this Friday, March 21, at DC’s Arena Stage.

March 12, 2014

LISTEN: Interview at SXSW features Wright on their podcast, during their visit to Austin for SXSW. Features quotes like this gem:

"If I had the chance to interview Osama Bin Laden, should I kill him? It’s a fair question. Suppose we’re having dinner — should I stab him with the bread knife? Do I have a moral obligation to kill him? Or do I have a moral obligation as a reporter to simply hear him?"

You can download the episode [MP3] or visit Longform’s website to hear the interview.

  • [6:00] Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief (Knopf • Jan 2013)
  • [6:00] The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 (Knopf • Aug 2006)
  • [7:45] The Siege (Twentieth Century Fox • 1998)
  • [14:45] "The Apostate" (The New Yorker • Feb 2011)
  • [30:15] My Trip to Al-Qaeda (Jigsaw Productions • Apr 2010)
March 12, 2014

National Book Critics Circle Praises ‘Going Clear’

In the weeks leading up to the March 13 announcement of the 2013 NBCC award winners, the National Book Critics Circle’s blog is highlighting the thirty finalists. NBCC board member Alex Abramovich offered an appreciation of Lawrence Wright's nonfiction finalist, Going Clear.

March 08, 2014

Camp David on Hardball with Chris Matthews

A Note from Lawrence Wright

Richard Thomas, who plays Jimmy Carter in my Camp David play, was on Hardball tonight. Great job.

You can find the full trasncript of the episode here.

February 20, 2014

Finalist for L.A. Times Book Prize

Going Clear is a finalist for the 2013 L.A. Times Book Prize, in the “Current Interest” category. The winners will be announed on April 11, 2014. 

January 16, 2014

Wright on Oregon Public Radio

Wright is interviewed about Going Clear and Scientology by Dave Miller on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Thinking Out Loud

January 14, 2014

Wright in The Oregonian

Wright shares his fascination with religious fervor and what led him to write Going Clear with The Oregonian's Steve Duin. 

January 12, 2014

Resurgence of Al-Qaeda in Iraq & Syria

Wright was interviewed with fellow journalist Dexter Filkins by The New Yorker’s Dorothy Wickenden, as part of the Political Scene podcast.

January 06, 2014

NSA Wiretapping Wouldn’t Have Stopped 9/11 (NYer)

Wright rebukes a recent court decision approving the use of N.S.A. wiretapping in this week’s New Yorker.

POSTED IN: Opinion
December 05, 2013

TIME’s Top 10 Includes “Going Clear”

TIME magazine ranks Going Clear at number 7 on its list of the top ten nonfiction books of 2013. Reviewer Lev Grossman calls the book a “relentlessly researched, skillfully presented work.”

POSTED IN: Going Clear, Reviews
November 22, 2013

NPR on JFK: Wright Talks About Growing Up in Dallas in the 60’s

Wright was interviewed for Wade Goodwyn’s report on the effects of the J.F.K. assassination on the city of Dallas, TX.

POSTED IN: Audio, In the News
September 18, 2013

National Book Award “Longlist” for Going Clear

The National Book Foundation announced the “longlist” of titles in consideration for the 2013 National Book Award for Nonfiction, which included Wright's most recent book, Going Clear. This list will be narrowed down to five finalists next month.

In 2006, Wright’s Looming Tower was a finalist for the award.

POSTED IN: Awards, Going Clear
September 12, 2013

Wright Moderates “Global Town Hall” on Countering Violent Extremism

On September 12, 2013, Wright joined The Soufan Group and Qatar International Academy for Security Studies for an event which spanned four locations across the globe, sharing the findings from a year-long study into countering violent extremism, conducted by the hosts.

Wright moderated the event, which included experts such as former U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Northern Ireland Chief Constable Matt Baggott, Senegal President Macky Sall, Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, First Minister of Northern Ireland Peter Robinson, Counterterrorism Coordinator for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security John Cohen (pictured), Director of the Center on National Security at Fordham Law Karen Greenberg (pictured), and Former FBI Special Agent and CEO of The Soufan Group Ali Soufan.

September 03, 2013

Süddeutsche Zeitung Interviews Wright about Going Clear

A prominent newspaper story on Going Clear appeared in Germany's Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Unsurprisingly, the article provoked a lot of reactions, most of them positive.

POSTED IN: Going Clear, In the News
June 26, 2013

Interview at IRE Conference

“Speaking at the 2013 Investigative Reporters & Editors Conference, Wright revealed some of the secrets of his craft in a conversation led by his longtime friend John Burnett, a veteran foreign correspondent and longtime Texas-based NPR correspondent.”

[Photo: Travis Hartman, courtesy]

POSTED IN: Audio, Going Clear, Profiles
May 22, 2013

Daily Beast Profile

A Note from Lawrence Wright

In which all my secrets are revealed...

POSTED IN: Going Clear, Profiles
April 13, 2013

Slate’s Book Club on “Going Clear”

Dan Kois, Hanna Rosin, and Meghan O’Rourke all read Going Clear for this installment of Slate’s Audio Book Club.

POSTED IN: Audio, Going Clear, Reviews
April 10, 2013

San Antonio Media Feature Wright as Part of Texas Book Festival

In anticipation of the Texas Book Festival San Antonio Edition, the San Antonio Current and the San Antonio Express-News featured Wright, who will appear along with other notable Texas writers at the event on Saturday, April 13, 2013.

Current’s Q & A with Wright about Going Clear →

Express-News’ profile of Wright and Going Clear →

POSTED IN: Events, Going Clear, Profiles
April 06, 2013

“Chilling,” Says NY Review of Books about “Going Clear”

In the April 2013 edition of The New York Review of Books, Diane Johnson calls Going Clear an “evenhanded, chilling … investigation” of the Church of Scientology.

Wright … seems to have a particular ability to understand and explain issues related to religion, recovered memory, fanaticism, and deviance—and the nerve to withstand objections and threats.

POSTED IN: Going Clear, Reviews
March 21, 2013

Upcoming Event: Egypt in Transition

A Note from Lawrence Wright

I'm looking forward to chairing what should be a fascinating discussion on Egypt in this historic moment.

Egypt In Transition: A Conversation With Lawrence Wright, Mohamed Elmenshawy, Samer Shehata, and Robin Wright

April 15th, 2013, 7:00 p.m.
Fordham Law School, McNally Amphitheater
140 West 62nd Street, NYC

POSTED IN: Events, Middle East
March 20, 2013

Bay Area Press Praises “Fallaci”

The San Francisco Examiner says Fallaci’s “personality and wit are pure theatrical gold.” Berkeleyside calls the play “distinctive and thought provoking,” agreeing that “Oriana Fallaci’s brilliant personality is fascinatingly presented.”

POSTED IN: Fallaci, Plays, Reviews
March 20, 2013

Sad News for Britain’s Libel Laws

A Note from Lawrence Wright

There was such hope when I visited the House of Lords last month that UK's notorious libel laws could be reformed. Now, they have been — for the worse, it appears.

March 20, 2013

Video Chat with

Wright sat down with to discuss Going Clear and a range of other topics.

POSTED IN: Going Clear, Profiles, Video
March 01, 2013

Britain’s Libel Laws Lead to Ban of “Going Clear”

A Note from Lawrence Wright

I had the chance to speak to members of the House of Lords who are considering the new defamation bill that would allow my book and other public-interest journalism to be published in the UK. Now, it's essentially banned because of the libel laws.

POSTED IN: Going Clear, Links
February 19, 2013

AP Calls Going Clear “a Powerful Piece of Reportage”

Associated Press’s Nahal Toosi raves about Going Clear, going on to say the book “is a carefully written account, detached and with little sense of outrage apparent from the author's point of view... But that step-by-step, cautious approach adds to the book's value. Wright obviously understands that letting his findings speak for themselves is enough.”

POSTED IN: Going Clear, Reviews
February 07, 2013

Colbert Skewers Miscavige and Scientology

A Note from Lawrence Wright

The watermelon: greatest sight gag in years.

February 07, 2013

“The Colbert Report” Appearance

Wright appears on The Colbert Report to discuss his new book, Going Clear, and the Church of Scientology with the famed comedian and talk show host.

February 06, 2013

Radio Interview with NPR’s “Morning Edition”

Steve Inskeep interviews Wright about the new book, Going Clear, and the controversial Church of Scientology.

February 05, 2013

A Superhero-Based Phonetic Alphabet That Will Save Us All from Confusion

Posted by Lawrence Wright on The New Yorker Blog

“We will be arriving at gate B 11,” the flight attendant on American Airlines called out as we were landing in Boston. “That’s Batman 11. Your bags will be in luggage carousel C, that’s “C” for Captain America.”

“Well, nobody will forget that,” I said when the attendant, James Owens, replaced the microphone. I was standing in the bathroom queue.

POSTED IN: New Yorker Blog
February 02, 2013

UK’s “Guardian” Reviews “Going Clear”

Despite the book’s release in the United Kingdom being held up for legal reasons, The Guardian’s Sukhdev Sandhu “applauds an eye-opening account of America's most controversial religion.”

According to Sandhu, “the book is diligently researched, calmly expository, and full of fascinating side-stories.”

POSTED IN: Going Clear, Reviews
January 25, 2013

Radio interview with “On the Media”

On the Media host Bob Garfield talks to Wright about Scientology and the new book, Going Clear.

January 24, 2013

Charlie Rose is Tall, and Other Photos

Wright taped an interview with Charlie Rose, and had a chance to chat with Dustin Hoffman in the green room.

January 24, 2013

Radio Interview with “Fresh Air”

Fresh Air’s Terri Gross interviews Wright about Scientology and his process for writing the book, Going Clear.

January 23, 2013

Radio Interview with “The Leonard Lopate Show”

WNYC’s Lopate interviews Wright on his new book about the Church of Scientology, Going Clear.

January 23, 2013

“Guest Picks” for the Leonard Lopate Show

In addition to a more substantive interview with The Leonard Lopate Show about Scientology and Going Clear, Wright also informally shared what he's been reading, listening to, and even eating.

January 18, 2013

Q&A with Chicago Tribune

In anticipation of Wright’s appearance at the Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row event on January 29, he chatted about the new book, Going Clear, with Mark Guarino.

January 17, 2013

Appearance on the “Today” Show

On the morning of the release of Going Clear, Wright appeared on NBC’s Today show.

January 17, 2013

Read “Going Clear” Publisher’s Response to Church of Scientology

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, the publisher of Wright’s book, Going Clear, issued a response to the accusatory statement issued by the Church of Scientology.

POSTED IN: Going Clear, In the News
January 17, 2013

NBC’s “Rock Center” Tonight

Timed with today’s release of Going Clear, Rock Center’s Harry Smith takes an in-depth look at the book’s topic and one of its primary subjects, Oscar-winning director and screenwriter Paul Haggis. The episode airs tonight at 10:00 p.m. Eastern time.

According to Wright, “Paul Haggis has been a very courageous source for my book on Scientology, as he shows in this clip for the NBC Rock Center show this Thursday.”

January 14, 2013

Kind Words from Atlantic’s Goldberg

A note from Lawrence Wright:

Jeffrey Goldberg really is all the things he says about me, which is why this means so much.

POSTED IN: Going Clear, In the News
January 08, 2013

UK Cancels “Going Clear” Publication Due to Legal Threats

Legal threats from the Church of Scientology prompted United Kingdom publisher Transworld to cancel the release of Going Clear.

POSTED IN: Going Clear, In the News
January 07, 2013

Newsweek Names “Going Clear” a Must-Read

Newsweek unveils its most anticipated books of 2013, including Wright’s Going Clear.

POSTED IN: Going Clear, In the News
January 02, 2013

NYTimes Profiles Wright Before Release of “Going Clear”

The New York Times’s Charles McGrath made a trip down to Austin to talk with Wright about his upcoming book on Scientology and even catch a gig of Wright’s blues band, Who Do.

January 02, 2013

Going Clear Named a “Must-Read”

Flavorwire’s Emily Temple predicts Going Clear will be “the book that we’re all going to be talking about.”

POSTED IN: Going Clear, In the News
October 01, 2012

Video: Wright Interviews Iranian Minister for Council on Foreign Relations

Wright interviews Iranian Minister Ali Akbar Salehi about Iran's Nuclear Program at a Council on Foreign Relations event.

POSTED IN: Events, Middle East, Video
October 01, 2011

Interviewing Mavis Staples

Wright had the chance to interview Mavis Staples at 2011 The New Yorker Festival.