Susan Orlean's collection of profiles ranges from the well-known (Marky Mark) to the unknown (Colin Duffy, a typical American man, aged ten) to the formerly known (the cult sixties girl group the Shaggs). Orlean meets with Cristina Sanchez, Spain's first fully-qualified female matador, Silly Billy, New York's most successful children's clown, an African king who is a New York taxi-driver, and a champion show dog called Biff, who from a certain angle looks like President Clinton. As in her remarkable bestseller The Orchid Thief, soon to be the basis of Spike Being John Malkovich Jonze's new film, starring Meryl Streep and Nicholas Cage, Orlean's eye for the fascinatingly bizarre and her wonderfully witty way with language make her take on the world utterly original and unique.
Susan Orlean has been a staff writer for the New Yorker since 1992 and has also written for Esquire, Vogue and Rolling Stone. She is the author of five books including the international bestseller The Orchid Thief, the inspiration for the film Adaptation directed by Spike Jonze and starring Nicholas Cage and Meryl Streep. Susan Orlean lives in Boston.