Chuck Klosterman

Charles John "Chuck" Klosterman (born June 5, 1972) is an American author and essayist who has written books and essays focused on American popular culture. He has been a columnist for Esquire and ESPN.com and wrote "The Ethicist" column for The New York Times Magazine. Klosterman is the author of nine books, including two novels and the essay collection Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto.

Chuck Klosterman in Minneapolis, Minn. on Sept. 20, 2009.jpg
Chuck Klosterman in Minneapolis, Minn. on Sept. 20, 2009.jpg

Early life

Klosterman was born in Breckenridge, Minnesota, the youngest of seven children of Florence and William Klosterman. He is of German and Polish descent. He grew up on a farm in nearby Wyndmere, North Dakota, and was raised Roman Catholic. He graduated from Wyndmere High School in 1990 and from the University of North Dakota in 1994.

Career

After college, Klosterman was a journalist in Fargo, North Dakota, and later an arts critic for the Akron Beacon Journal in Akron, Ohio, before moving to New York City in 2002.

Klosterman was a senior writer for Spin and wrote a column titled "My Back Pages" (formerly "Rant and Roll Over" and "### Words from Chuck Klosterman"). He has written for GQ, Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, The Believer, The Guardian, and The Washington Post.

Klosterman participated in an e-mail exchange on ESPN's Page 2 with writer Bill Simmons in August 2004. In September 2005, Simmons interviewed him in his "Curious Guy" segment. Though initially recognized for his rock writing, Klosterman has written extensively about sports and began contributing articles to Page 2 on November 8, 2005. The ESPN site featured his week-long blog from Super Bowl XL in early 2006, and a weekend-long blog covering his experience at the 2007 Final Four.

In 2008, Klosterman spent the summer as the Picador Guest Professor for Literature at the University of Leipzig's Institute for American Studies in Leipzig, Germany.

In 2009, Klosterman married journalist Melissa Maerz.

In 2011, Klosterman joined Grantland, a now defunct sports and pop culture web site, which was conceived and led by former ESPN employee and founder of the web site The Ringer, Bill Simmons. Klosterman was a consulting editor.

He also appeared in the first three episodes of the Adult Swim web feature Carl's Stone Cold Lock of the Century of the Week, discussing the year's football games as an animated version of himself and trying (unsuccessfully) to plug his book as Carl cuts him off each time. He vanished after the third episode, with Carl giving the explanation of "He had to go do a book tour and also he didn't like how I kept calling him 'pencilneck'".

In 2012, Klosterman appeared in the documentary film Shut Up and Play the Hits, as the interviewer for an extended interview with the film's subject, LCD Soundsystem leader James Murphy that is featured throughout the film.

In 2015, Klosterman appeared on episodes 6 and 7 of the 1st season of IFC show, Documentary Now! as a music critic for the fictional band "The Blue Jean Committee."

His ninth book, titled But What If We're Wrong: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past, was published June 7, 2016. It visualizes the contemporary world as it will appear in the future to those who will perceive it as the distant past.

Books

Klosterman is the author of nine books and a set of cards.

Non-fiction

  • Fargo Rock City: A Heavy Metal Odyssey in Rural Nörth Daköta (2001), a humorous memoir/history on the phenomenon of glam metal
  • Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story (2005), a road narrative focused on the relationship between rock music, mortality, and romantic love
  • I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined) (2013)
  • But What If We're Wrong: Thinking about the Present as if it were the Past (2016)
  • HYPERtheticals: 50 Questions for Insane Conversations (2010), a set of 50 cards featuring hypothetical questions

Essay collections

  • Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto (2003), a best-selling collection of pop culture essays
  • Chuck Klosterman IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas (2006), a collection of articles, previously published columns, and a semi-autobiographical novella
  • Eating the Dinosaur (2009), a collection of previously unpublished essays

Novels

  • Downtown Owl: A Novel (2008), a novel describing life in the fictional town of Owl, North Dakota
  • The Visible Man (2011), a novel about a man who uses invisibility to observe others

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