Guess the Author Based on the New York Times’ Breathless Physical Description

franzen's glassesRecently, the New York Times published a profile of literary agent Luke Janklow, drawing attention to his “eyes the color of cornflowers.” A separate Times Style section story on Dagmara Dominczyk (author of the recently released The Lullaby of Polish Girls) made note of her “sculpted lips.”

Such details always jump out at me in literary profiles in a funny way—maybe because I’m still a little bitter that the New York Times failed to mention the height of my cheekbones or my deep, cerulean blue eyes when they profiled me in the Style section last year.

I combed the Times archives to find some of the more novel ways writers have been described. See if you can match the writers below with their descriptions in the Times:

  1. E. L. James                                  A. Wearing Ugg boots
  2. Dagmara Dominczyk                 B. Trim with a habitual slouch
  3. Jon-Jon Goulian                         C. Girlish with shoulder-length brown hair
  4. Jonathan Franzen                      D. Features chiseled into Mount Literature
  5. Rachel Kushner                          E. A sandy-haired Clark Kent
  6. George Saunders                       F. A little stern, as if he just stepped out of a tent at Antietam
  7. Malcolm Gladwell                       G. The relaxed intensity of a ballet dancer
  8. Suzanne Collins                          H. A robust, Mephistophelian goatee
  9. James Patterson                          I. Impossibly high cheekbones
  10. G. R. R. Martin                             J. The boyish handsomeness of Clark Kent
  11. Austin Ratner                               K. Like a rotund elf or Santa Claus
  12. David Foster Wallace                 L. Slight, shoeless
  13. Mark Leyner                                 M. A small woman with fine features and long, flowing hair
  14. Michael Chabon                          N. Plump
  15. Lorrie Moore                                 O. Body toned like an Olympic swimmer’s

Answers (highlight to make visible): 1-N, 2-I, 3-O, 4-E, 5-G, 6-F, 7-L, 8-M, 9-B, 10-K, 11-J, 12-D, 13-H, 14-A, 15-C


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