Ben Austen is a writer from Chicago. He is the author of High-Risers: Cabrini-Green and the Fate of American Public Housing, which was longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal of Excellence in Nonfiction, shortlisted for the Goddard Riverside Stephan Russo Book Prize for Social Justice, and named one of the best books of 2018 by Booklist, Mother Jones and the public libraries of Chicago and St. Louis. A former editor at Harper’s Magazine, he is a story consultant on the podcast The City and a senior fellow at the Invisible Institute. His feature writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Wired, GQ, The Best American Travel Writing, and many other publications. He is currently at work on a narrative nonfiction book about the parole system and the county’s practices around crime and punishment.
Rachel Cohen has written essays for The New Yorker, The Guardian, The London Review of Books, Apollo, The New York Times, The Nation, The Threepenny Review, The Believer, McSweeney’s and other publications, and her essays have been anthologized in Best American Essays and in the Pushcart Prize Anthology. Her third book, Austen Years: A Memoir in Five Novels is forthcoming from FSG in July 2020. Austen Years is a meditation on reading, having children, the death of her father, five novels by Jane Austen, and reading again in times of isolation and transformation.