author bio


Mark Essig is the author of Lesser Beasts: A Snout-to-Tail History of the Humble Pig (Basic Books, 2015) and Edison & the Electric Chair (Walker & Co., 2003), which was named one of the year’s best science books by Discover Magazine. He has written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Atlas Obscura,, and Gravy, the magazine of the Southern Foodways Alliance. He has worked as reporter, editor, and copy editor at the Los Angeles Times community news division, the Long Beach Press-Telegram, and the Asheville Citizen-Times. He holds a Ph.D. in U.S. history from Cornell University and a bachelor’s degree in English and religious studies from the University of Virginia. He has taught history and American studies at Cornell and journalism at Warren Wilson College. A native of St. Louis, he lives in Asheville, North Carolina.

(Photo by Pableaux Johnson (@pxnola) at the Southern Foodways Alliance symposium, October 2016)