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David Dobbs

David Dobbs, author of the Atavist hit My Mother’s Lover and three other books, writes features and essays for The New York Times, National Geographic, Slate, The Atlantic, and at Neuron Culture, his blog at Wired. His long-form works regularly appear in the leading annual Best of anthologies. In My Mother’s Lover, a long-incubated, short-book memoir about his mother’s secret love affair with a World War II flight surgeon, the Atavist’s unique publishing system gave him a way to tell a complex story that had defied conventional magazine size limits. The resulting e-book, readable as either straight text or a work enriched with audio, video, and photos, spent several weeks atop the Kindle Singles bestseller list and was one of the top-selling Kindle books of any length. Dobbs frequently speaks at writing conferences, addressing the topics of narrative, the challenges of writing well about science, structure as an expressive force, and, sometimes, the hole in his brain. He is currently writing a book, its working title The Orchid and the Dandelion (Crown), that explores the notion that some of the genes and traits underlying our most troublesome mental states and behaviors also help generate our greatest strengths and happiness. He lives in Montpelier, Va., with his family.