Benoit Denizet-Lewis is a magazine journalist, professor, and New York Times bestselling author. He is at work on a book about identity change (tentatively titled We Don't Know You Anymore) for William Morrow in the United States and Penguin Books in the UK. Benoit writes about people undergoing—mostly through concerted effort, but sometimes unexpectedly and seemingly without intention—profound shifts across a number of identities, from gender and sexuality to race, politics, and spirituality. In the process he explores the intersection of personal change and public policy and confronts controversial ideas about who is changeable, and who has the right to redemption or reinvention. To tell Benoit your change story, click here.
Benoit is a longtime Contributing Writer with The New York Times Magazine, where he has authored dozens of covers and features about identity, sex, politics, youth culture, and mental health. Benoit's 2011 profile of Michael Glatze was turned into a film starring James Franco and Zachary Quinto, and his 2017 cover story about anxious teenagers is one of the most read pieces in the history of the magazine.
Benoit also contributes to the New York Times Book Review and to Rolling Stone and Slate. He speaks across the country, appears regularly on television and radio, and has been named one of the "50 Most Influential LGBT People in Media" by The Advocate.
His most recent book, Travels With Casey: My Journey Through Our Dog-Crazy Country, was a New York Times bestseller and People and Time's book of the week. His first book, America Anonymous: Eight Addicts in Search of a Life, was a New York Times Editors' Choice selection and was called "a dazzling portrait of eight addicts and their intimate, sometimes heartbreaking struggles" by Susan Cheever. Benoit has also contributed essays and introductions to a number of collections, including The Kids and "The Letter Q," and he has received writing fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Alicia Patterson Foundation.
A graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, Benoit has taught magazine and nonfiction writing at Northeastern, Tufts, and The College of Wooster, where he served as the Merton M. Sealts Jr. Writer-in-Residence. Now a professor at Emerson College, Benoit leads the school's Publishing Series and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in magazine writing and publishing, profile writing, writing about subcultures, and interdisciplinary studies.
(Benoit writes) kicky, cutting-edge work to show younger readers who think journalism is dead.”
Denizet-Lewis offers stirring and sensitive portraits of individuals—frequently adolescents—struggling to articulate desire and identity while bearing the weight of societal taboo and marginalization.
(Benoit's book) American Voyeur marries comprehensive reporting to perhaps the best chosen subject matter I’ve read in a long time, the kind of stories you clip and save over months before discovering they belong in a single author’s folder.
The San Francisco Chronicle
Benoit writes with an impressive mix of transparency and compassion... He sees deep into the sadness of desperate people, and equally deep into the systems that redeem such sadness.
Benoit Denizet-Lewis is a world-class writer... (He) will seize your summer afternoons like lemonade in a hammock.