About Martha

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So far Martha has created 24 blog entries.

NATURE Best Books of the Year

The Cyber Effect by Mary Aiken is now in paperback, a fantastical and scary dive into our online lives and personas — and a crucial must-read for parents.

Human behavior changes online and the impact on child development needs more attention, not another decade of burying our heads in the sand.  I am proud to have been a writer and collaborated on this book — embraced already by a multitude of experts, including NATURE, the gold-standard for scientists — and really hope to work with Mary Aiken again. Besides being breathtakingly smart, she’s also hilariously fun.

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The Atlantic — 50 Best Podcasts of the Year

My dad is the gift that keeps on giving.  When Esquire Classic made #20 in a list of best podcasts of the year, My Father the Bachelor was singled out as the “gateway” episode.  I love that we beat out The New Yorker Radio Hour (#23) and Fresh Air (#24)

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20. Esquire Classic
Most literary podcasts adopt a familiar highbrow voice, but Esquire Classic makes English lit conversational. Each episode sees the show reexamine one great piece from the magazine, poring over all the insider details: what Susan Orlean was thinking when she profiled a 10-year-old boy, or why Richard Ben Cramer was the perfect foil for Ted Williams. By interweaving readings of the essays with conversations between the host and someone close to the piece (usually a writer or editor), the podcast contextualizes the making of essential literature.

Gateway Episode: “My Father the Bachelor, by Martha Sherrill

Banner Episode: “What It Takes, by Richard Ben Cramer

https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2016/12/the-50-best-podcasts-of-2016/510698/

December 19th, 2016|Esquire Classic, Esquire Classic Podcast, Esquire profiles and essays, Esquire writing, Essay writing, My Father, Personal Essay, Peter Sherrill, The Bachelor, Uncategorized|Comments Off on The Atlantic — 50 Best Podcasts of the Year

The Cyber Effect

Fascinating, wild, scary — finally, something that makes sense of the behavior we are seeing online and in real life these days. I am very proud to have collaborated with Mary Aiken on The Cyber Effect (Spiegel & Grau, 2016)

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“Just as Rachel Carson launched the modern environmental movement with her Silent Spring, Mary Aiken delivers a deeply disturbing, utterly penetrating, and urgently timed investigation into the perils of the largest unregulated social experiment of our time.” — Bob Woodward

“Drawing on a fascinating and mind-boggling range of research and knowledge, Mary Aiken has written a great, important book that terrifies then consoles by point a way forward so that our experience online might not outstrip our common sense. This is a must-read for this moment in time.”
— Steven D. Levitt, co-author of Freakonomics.

“We can look away, we can deny it, but the more we’re online, the more compulsive, more secretive, more cruel and more disconnected from our better selves we are liable to become. This cyber-effect not only threatens adults but also is influencing our children and the kind of grown-ups they will be.”
— Catherine Steiner-Adair — in The Washington Post review.

 

Esquire Classic: The Essential Martha Sherrill

Lucky for me, I got to spend time at Esquire magazine. For about a decade, on and off, I wrote profiles and essays for the magazine, before I started writing books. There were three talented editor-in-chiefs during my tenure — Terry McDonell, Ed Kosner, and David Granger. But the amazing man who assigned and edited my work was the incomparable Mark Warren, who cared as much about my work as I did. He recently left the magazine after 28 years. I’m certain his absence will be noticed.

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This June, just before Father’s Day, the Esquire Classic archive asked me for an interview about one piece I wrote in particular, “My Father, The Bachelor,” which has become one of the most visited and shared essays in the archives.

David Brancaccio, the host of public radio’s Marketplace (among other things) interviewed me at my favorite local radio station, WOMR in Provincetown, MA — not far from where I live.

Click on this collage and it will take you to the podcast — and links to some of my other pieces:

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August 23rd, 2016|Esquire Classic, Esquire Classic Podcast, Esquire profiles and essays, Esquire writing, Essay writing, Peter Sherrill, The Bachelor|Comments Off on Esquire Classic: The Essential Martha Sherrill

Our Story: The EF Anniversary Book Project

In the summer of 2012, I began a two-year project: creating a 50th anniversary book for EF, the world’s largest private education company. The founder of EF, Bertil Hult, wanted a spectacularly well-designed coffee table book that would tell the story of his company and its strong culture. Bertil, who is Swedish, is a collector of Frank Stella’s work and American Pop Art. He appreciates abstraction, spareness, boldness, silence, and humor — in both obvious and nuanced ways.

(more…)

April 21st, 2015|Bertil Hult, Business profile, EF Education First, Private publishing venture, Tina Axelsson|Comments Off on Our Story: The EF Anniversary Book Project

“Good-bye Tiger” for Ben Bradlee (1921-2014)

Click image to go to the Washington Post story

The Washington Post asked me to write an appreciation for Ben Bradlee, the executive editor of the newspaper who hired me as a Style staff reporter in 1989. He was a wonderful boss, editor and man.

November 16th, 2014|Ben Bradlee, Biography, Fashion writing, General, Newspaper Features, Newspaper profiles + features, Personal Essay, The Washington Post, The Washington Post Style Section|Comments Off on “Good-bye Tiger” for Ben Bradlee (1921-2014)

Rodarte Picks Jay DeFeo and “The Rose”

The Rose by Jay De Feo

The sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy — otherwise known as Rodarte, the wildly successful fashion designers from California — took their turn at the winter issue of A Magazine Curated By assembling a glorious spread of many surprises and dangerously kitsch fashion photos, all California-inspired.  Golden State natives will want to savor this issue over and over. And, best of all — for me — the issue includes an essay of mine about the Beat artist Jay De Feo and her commitment to her transcendent, seminal work, The Rose, a huge painting that is now at the Whitney but, for many years, was an albatross relegated to a dusty corner of a conference room at the San Francisco Art Institute, then covered up by drywall.

The issue of A Magazine Curated By is available for 20  Euros or the U.S. equivalent. (If it is sold out on the A Magazine website, copies may be available on Amazon and other sites selling literary collectibles.) If you are interested in De Feo and would like more information about her,  Jay De Feo and The Rose, a collection of essays and academic writing about the painting, and the artist, is available from University of California Press for $85.

A Magazine Curated By RODARTE

March 13th, 2012|Art + Art History, Biography, Essay writing, Fashion writing, Jay De Feo|Comments Off on Rodarte Picks Jay DeFeo and “The Rose”

MAGICAL CLOTHING: FARRAH’S JERSEY

I have a terrible habit of borrowing clothes. (Hand-me-downs are great too.) Here’s a light-hearted essay I wrote for today’s New York Times about the best thing I ever borrowed — a roller derby jersey worn by Farrah Fawcett on Charlie’s Angels. It tells how I got it. And, painfully, how I had to give it back.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/15/fashion/charlies-angels-didnt-look-that-sexy-without-help.html

September 15th, 2011|Charlie's Angels, Fashion writing, New York Times Styles, Personal Essay, Re-useable Life, Recycled Clothing|Comments Off on MAGICAL CLOTHING: FARRAH’S JERSEY

REIMAGINING JAPAN

Japan is on everybody’s mind these days.  I was lucky to be asked to contribute an essay to a fantastic collection, Reimagining Japan,  just out. It is already #1 nonfiction book in Japan and sold out in English on Amazon, but more copies will be available soon. The other contributors are artists, writers, historians, economists, CEOs and even a soccer coach and a videogame creator. Gorgeously illustrated and beautifully packaged, it has been called the most comprehensive book about Japan ever.   You might have to wait a few weeks to hold it in your hands but, if it’s any consolation, so do I.

July 18th, 2011|Dog Man, essays about Japan, Japan, Japan earthquake, Japan tsunami, Japan's future, Mountain Life, Reimagining Japan, Snow Country|Comments Off on REIMAGINING JAPAN

Move Over, Estee Lauder

Leslie Blodgett vs. Estee Lauder

Fashionistas don’t take themselves too seriously, the way a U.S. senator always does. And an individual with loads of creativity + business smarts is usually open, self-aware, colorful, intelligent, and comfortable being interviewed.  Leslie Blodgett, the visionary behind Bare Escentuals who caused a cosmetic industry revolution with her crazy mineral foundation, was — as my 13-year old son would say — da bomb. You can click on the photo above to link to the New York Times story that I wrote earlier this month, or use this permalink below.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/12/fashion/leslie-blodgett-of-bare-escentuals-the-queen-of-beauty.html

(Photo credit: Peter DaSilva for The New York Times; Getty Images)

June 23rd, 2011|beauty business feature, Business profile, fashion profile, General, The New York Times Styles Section|Comments Off on Move Over, Estee Lauder