State By State: A Panoramic Portrait of America was inspired by the WPA State Guides of the 1930s. Editors Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey wanted to know "what makes one state different form another?
What are each state's particularities and idiosyncrasies, their prejudices and biases, their beauty marks and moles, their cadences and jokes?"
State by State answers these questions and more while portraying the beauty, the kitsch, the unexpected and the quintessential things that make America home- The New School
Jonathan Franzen was born near Chicago in August, 1959, and grew up in Webster Groves, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. After graduating from Swarthmore College, in 1981, he studied at the Freie Universitat in Berlin as a Fulbright scholar and later worked in a seismology lab at Harvard University's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.
Mr. Franzen is the author of three novels - The Twenty-Seventh City (1988), Strong Motion (1992), The Corrections (2001) - a collection of essays, How to Be Alone (2002), and a memoir, The Discomfort Zone (2006). His honors include a Whiting Writers Award in 1988, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1996, the American Academy's Berlin Prize in 2000, and the National Book Award (for The Corrections) in 2001. He writes frequently for The New Yorker, and he lives in New York City.
Peter K. Hirsch is a writer and story editor for animation. He has written for both "Arthur" and its spin-off series "Postcards from Buster."
Additionally, he has served as both executive story editor and head writer for "Arthur" since Joe Fallon left the program. Hirsch has also written for "Between the Lions" (another production of WGBH) and "Time Warp Trio."
Parker Posey is an American actress. She became known during the 1990s, after a series of roles in several well-received independent films. As a result, she has often been referred to as the "Queen of the Indies".
Maria Tucci began her career in the original production of Tennessee Williams' The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore.
Later she won a Tony nomination for her portrayal of Rosa in the revival of The Rose Tatoo, played in Suddenly Last Summer and The Rose Tatoo (this time as Scrafina) in the Williamstown Williams Celebration, an then Hannah Jekles in The Night of the Iguana, again at Williamstown during the 1987 summer season.
She has worked extensively on and off Broadway, including A Man For All Seasons, Requiem For A Heavyweight (Tony Award nomination), Athol Fugard's A Lesson From Aloes, Spokesong, Kingdoms and The Shadow Box; Mike Nichols' productions of The Little Foxes, Drinks Before Dinner and Marking. Most recently, she appeared in The Stendhal Syndrome at Primary Stages.
At Stratford, she was Juliet twice, Ophelia, Hermione/Perdita in The Winter's Tale, and Irina in The Three Sisters.At the Long Wharf and elsewhere she has played in Major Barbara, The Crucible, The Heiress, The Guardsmen, The Royal Family, Seascape and Master Class.
She starred in The Substance of Fire at Playwrights Horizon and at Lincoln Center Theatre Club. Maria has performed in Collected Stories at Manhattan Theatre Club, Between East and West and Fugard's Hello and Goodbye at the McCarter Theatre. On television she has been Ruth in Eugene O'Neill's Beyond the Horizon and Mrs. Alger Hiss in Concealed Enemies. She has also appeared in the television series Tattingers and Law and Order, and the film Daniel. Her film credits include Sweet Nothing and To Die For, directed by Gus Van Sant.
Sarah Jane Vowell was born December 27, 1969 and is an American author, journalist, humorist, and commentator. Often referred to as a "social observer," Vowell has authored several books and is a regular contributor to the radio program This American Life on Public Radio International.
She was also the voice of Violet in the animated film The Incredibles and a short documentary, Vowellet: An Essay by Sarah Vowell in the "Behind the Scenes" extras of The Incredibles DVD release.
Ellery Washington, a professor of creative writing at Pratt Institute, is a contributor to "State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America." Ellery Washington's writing has appeared in the French publication Nouvelles Frontieres, Out Magazine, The Berkeley Fiction Review and various literary anthologies.
Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, he has spent the past ten years living in Europe, working as a script consultant for international film companies and, for two of those years, teaching at a French public high school.
Matt Weiland is the Deputy Editor of The Paris Review. He has been an editor at Granta, The Baffler and The New Press, and he oversaw a documentary radio unit at NPR.
His writing has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, New York Observer, The Nation and The New Republic. He is the co-editor, with Sean Wilsey, of The Thinking Fan's Guide to the World Cup and, with Thomas Frank, of Commodify Your Dissent: The Business of Culture in the New Gilded Age.
Sean Wilsey's writing has appeared in The London Review of Books, The Los Angeles Times, and McSweeney's Quarterly, where he is the editor at large.
Before going to McSweeney's he worked as an editorial assistant at The New Yorker, a fact checker at Ladies' Home Journal, a letters correspondent at Newsweek, and an apprentice gondolier in Venice, Italy. He was born in San Francisco in 1970 and now lives with his wife, Daphne Beal, and his son, Owen.