Lise Funderburg went to Reed College and the Columbia University School of Journalism. Her latest book is the narrative nonfiction "Pig Candy: Taking My Father South, Taking My Father Home" (Free Press) -- a contemplation of life, death, and barbecue (not to mention filial duty, regionalism, and the impact of sprawl on rural communities). "Pig Candy" was chosen in 2012 as Drexel University's Freshman Read. Funderburg's first book was a collection of oral histories, "Black, White, Other: Biracial Americans Talk about Race and Identity," the first to explore the lives of adult children of black-white unions. Her articles, essays and reviews have appeared widely: in The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Geographic, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Nation, Garden Design, MORE, and many other publications. She teaches Creative Nonfiction Writing at The University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers University, and through the Creative Nonfiction Foundation Mentor Program.
What do you read for pleasure?
I have a broad appetite as a reader, happy to alternate between fiction and non. As for periodicals, I actually get the greatest pleasure from the long-distance subscription I hold to the weekly newspaper from my Dad's rural Georgia hometown, The Monticello News. Like the people who live there, I bypass the headlines (Eagle Spotted) and "Australian Man Rides Bicycle Through Town") and go straight to the obituaries.
Describe your desk
In the second-floor bedroom I use as my office (also known as WHQ), my husband built a simple counterlike wooden desk into the bay window alcove. I look out the windows into some very old pines and maples, all of them taller than the house itself, and so even though I'm very much in the city, I'm protected by this vernal screen.
I wish I could say that I keep this modernist white counter serene and clean, but it's always half-swallowed by piles and clutter.
In this 20th anniversary edition of the landmark "Black, White, Other" (Morrow, Quill), journalist Lise Funderburg explores the lives of 46 adult children of black/white unions. Her subjects' unflinching honesty, humor, and deep feeling result in a stunning—and enduring—portrait of race in America. New foreword by novelist Mat Johnson and links to updated commentary from original participants.