I'm a national fellow at New America, an associate professor at Emerson College, and a longtime contributing writer with The New York Times Magazine, where I've authored covers and features about identity, LGBT issues, mental health, relationships, animals, and sports. I contribute regularly to The New York Times Book Review and have written for Rolling Stone, Details, Slate, and Out, among others.
I'm at work on a new book (titled We Don't Know You Anymore) about transformation and identity change. What does it mean to become a "new person"? What's the relationship between personal change and social transformation? And who do we believe is changeable, or, conversely, has forfeited the right to redemption or reinvention? I tackle those questions as I write about people undergoing—mostly through concerted effort, but sometimes unexpectedly and seemingly without intention—meaningful shifts to a core identity or belief system.
Why we change (or don't) is also a theme of my first book, America Anonymous: Eight Addicts in Search of a Life, in which I wrote about Americans trying to get or stay sober, and about some of my own struggles with addictive behavior. My most recent book, Travels With Casey: My Journey Through Our Dog-Crazy Country, is more fun: I drove around the country with my dog for an exploration of contemporary dog culture.
I'm half French, am married to a Czech guy, and have a very cool dog.
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 writes) kicky, cutting-edge work to show younger readers who think journalism is dead.
(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
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 Denizet-Lewis is a world-class writer... (He) will seize your summer afternoons like lemonade in a hammock.