Clifford Thompson

Clifford Thompson is the 2013 winner of the Whiting Writers’ Award for nonfiction and author of Love for Sale and Other Essays and the novel Signifying Nothing. Born in Washington, D.C., he studied creative writing at Oberlin College and lives in Brooklyn, New York. His memoir, Twin of Blackness, was published in 2015 by Autumn House Press.

 

Posts by Clifford Thompson

Our Comic Ends

The magic trick that Chast performs in her cartoons is to make laughter out of the dirty secret of life: it is an alternately stressful and humdrum affair, and then it is over.

Living For the City

For readers who are new in town, this volume is a tour through a Washington they will not learn about in any guidebook. For others, reading this collection is like, yes, flying home.

King Lear

Does a man ever get over his father? Born into a Jewish family in New Haven in the summer of 1922, the second child and only boy, Norman Lear developed toward H.K. a reverence that withstood a great deal before souring, which it never did completely. Like Archie, H.K. was a large personality whose faults were proportional to the rest of him.

Say It Ain’t So, Bill

To say that the good Cosby has done outweighs the bad is, at best, to oversimplify matters and, at worst, to make a morally dubious statement. (Try saying that about a philanthropist who raped your sister, daughter, or wife.) It is of limited use, too, to say that we must always separate the artist from the art if we are to enjoy art at all. That is because, in this case, the person we took to be Cosby is—was?—his art. Maybe, maybe, it is possible to hang onto that persona, a positive force in the world, even as we know that it is the creation of that other Cosby; but between the two of them, they have broken my heart.

District Restoration

Working against sometimes clunky prose, but with an eye on posterity, Washington D.C.’s most (in)famous mayor tells his story of power, the temptations of power, and his legacy forgotten amidst scandal.