marlene lopez

An award-winning veteran of the Washington Post and the Miami Herald, Tom Shroder has made a career of investigative journalism and human-interest stories, from children who claim to have memories of past lives, in his book Old Souls, to a former Marine suffering from debilitating PTSD whose doctor pioneered a successful psychedelic drug treatment in Acid Test.  In The Most Famous Writer Who Ever Lived: A True Story of My Family (Blue Rider Press), Shroder reveals his most fascinating subject: his grandfather MacKinlay Kantor, the world-famous author of the seminal Civil War novel, Andersonville. As a child, Shroder was in awe of his larger than life grandfather, whose friends included Ernest Hemingway, Carl Sandburg, Gregory Peck, and James Cagney. Kantor also suffered from alcoholism, an outsize ego, and an abusive and publicly embarrassing personality where his family was concerned; he blew through several small fortunes in his lifetime, and died nearly destitute. In The Most Famous Writer Who Ever Lived, Shroder revisits Kantor’s upbringing, his early life, his career trajectory and writes not just the life story of one man, but a meditation on fame, family secrets and legacies, and what is remembered after we are gone.