Colin Harrison (writer)

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Colin Harrison
Born 1960
New York City, New York
Residence Brooklyn, New York
Nationality American
Education Westtown School
Alma mater University of Iowa
Haverford College
Occupation Novelist, editor
Years active 1989-present
Employer Charles Scribner's Sons
Notable work Manhattan Nocturne
Spouse(s) Kathryn Harrison
Children 3
Parent(s) Earl Harrison

Colin Harrison (born 1960 in New York City) is an American novelist and editor. Harrison is the author of seven novels: Break and Enter (1990), Bodies Electric (1993), Manhattan Nocturne (1996), Afterburn (2000), The Havana Room (2004), The Finder (2008), and Risk (2009), which was first published as a fifteen-part serial in The New York Times magazine in 2008. Four of his books were selected as Notable Books by The New York Times Book Review. The Finder was a finalist for the 2009 Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the 2009 Dashiell Hammett Award. All are atmospheric novels of violence and suspense that explore the underside of city life, most particularly in New York.[1] Although his novels invariably involve the money and power that is concentrated in Manhattan, his stories usually snake through the boroughs outside Manhattan as well, in particular through Brooklyn, which has served as a setting for scenes in Bodies Electric (Park Slope and Sunset Park), Manhattan Nocturne (East New York), The Finder (Marine Park, Bensonhurst) and Risk (Canarsie).

His short nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, New York Magazine, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Vogue, Salon, Worth, and other publications and anthologies.

He lives in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, with his wife, the writer Kathryn Harrison, with whom he has three children. He was an editor at Harper's Magazine from 1989 until 2001 and in that time worked with such writers as David Foster Wallace, Jonathan Franzen, Jane Smiley, Russell Banks, Michael Paternite, Lucy Grealy, Thom Jones, Scott Anderson, Sebastian Junger, Ken Kalfus, Verlyn Klinkenborg, Barbara Ehrenreich, Charles Bowden, Joy Williams, David Quammen, William H. Gass, Joe Conason, David Guterson, Bob Shacochis, Joyce Carol Oates, Lewis Lapham, and many others. Since 2001 he has been a senior editor at Scribner, where he edits both fiction and non-fiction. Among the many writers he has worked there with are Anthony Swofford, Ted Fishman, Kem Nunn, John Dalton, Mariane Pearl, Greg Iles, Bruce Weber, Craig Unger, Steven Johnson, Alexandra Horowitz, Rick Perlstein, Carol Sklenicka, Linda Fairstein, Robert Ferrigno, Daniel Okrent, Doug Stanton, S.G. Gwynne, and Chuck Hogan.[citation needed]

Harrison attended the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop (MFA, 1986), Haverford College (BA, 1982), and Westtown School (1978), a coeducational Quaker boarding school, where his father, Earl Harrison, was headmaster.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Ordinary Guy's Great Fall Into a City's Underbelly," by Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times, January 6, 2004