The Village Voice aimed to show readers something that mainstream publications wouldn’t: live theater productions climbing through the scaffolding of off-Broadway venues; moments in music from hip-hop to jazz to punk; New York City civil issues, like corrupt landlords; and global issues, like the AIDS crisis. Through decades of independent reporting and first-hand accounts within the myriad subcultures of New York, the Village Voice built a journalistic legacy of lived experience, bold critique, and political activism. One can’t help but wonder, what it must have been like to be one of the writers, editors, or photographers who was in on the action.
In her debut book, The Freaks Came Out to Write, Tricia Romano shares her journey from intern to contributor at the Village Voice, and the multi-generational significance of the weekly paper that reached far beyond the neighborhoods of New York City. Romano’s accounts include over 200 interviews that span decades and feature influential figures such as Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead, feminist writers Vivian Gornick and Susan Brownmiller, the post-punk band Blondie, and many other acclaimed individuals in the realms of art, politics, and society. Romano ties it all together in an expansive oral history that tells the story of journalism, New York City and American culture — and the most famous alt-weekly of all time.
Tricia Romano is a writer, columnist, and editor whose work has been published in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Elle, the Los Angeles Times, and of course the Village Voice, among others. Her column, Fly Life, dug into the underbelly of New York nightlife and she has penned award-winning stories on music and culture. She has served as a fellow at MacDowell, Millay, and UCross, a staff writer at the Seattle Times, and as editor-in-chief of the Stranger, Seattle’s own alternative newsweekly.
Dan Savage is a sex-advice columnist, a podcaster, an author, and has appeared on numerous television shows. Formerly the editor of the Stranger, Dan’s sex-advice column “Savage Love,” is syndicated worldwide. He has published seven books and his weekly sex advice podcast Savage Lovecast.
David Schneiderman was editor-in-chief and publisher of the Village Voice. During his time as editor, the paper won its first Pulitzer Prize, the first awarded to an alternative newspaper. He was the founding publisher of 7Days, which won a National Magazine Award. He was also a founding editor of The New York Times Op-Ed page. David’s career at the Village Voice spanned 27 years. He has lived in Seattle for 22 years.
Jane Levine worked for more than 30 years at alternative weeklies. She started as an intern at Chicago Reader in 1973 and returned to serve as publisher from 1994 to 2004. In between, she held business-side positions at Los Angeles Reader, North Carolina Independent, and Seattle Weekly.
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