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Luc Sante (born 25 May 1954, Verviers, Belgium) is a writer, critic, and artist. He is a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books. His books include Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York (1991)
Born in Verviers, Belgium, Sante migrated to the United States in the early 1960s. He attended school in New York City, first at Regis High School in Manhattan and later at Columbia University from 1972 to 1976; due to several incompletes and outstanding library fines, he did not take a degree. Since 1984 he has been a full-time writer. Sante is a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books, where he first worked in the mailroom and then as assistant to editor Barbara Epstein. Sante has written on the subjects of film, art, photography, and miscellaneous cultural phenomena as well as book reviews.
His books include Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York (1991), Evidence (1992), the autobiographical The Factory of Facts (1998), Walker Evans (1999), Kill All Your Darlings: Pieces 1990-2005 (2007), Folk Photography (2009), and The Other Paris (2015). He co-edited, with the writer, his former wife, Melissa Holbrook Pierson, O. K. You Mugs: Writers on Movie Actors (1998), and translated and edited Félix Fénéon's Novels in Three Lines (2007) for the New York Review Books (NYRB) series.
In the early 1980s, he wrote lyrics for the New York City-based band The Del-Byzanteens. Sante wrote the text for Take Me To The Water: Immersion Baptism In Vintage Music And Photography, a collection of historical photos of American baptismal rites, published by Dust-to-Digital in 2009.
- Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York (1991)
- Evidence (1992)
- The Factory of Facts (1998)
- The Unknown Soldier (Broadcast on This American Life, 1998)
- Walker Evans (1999)
- Kill All Your Darlings: Pieces 1990-2005 (2007)
- Folk Photography (2009)
- Take Me To The Water: Immersion Baptism In Vintage Music And Photography (2009)
- The Other Paris (2015)
- Beastie Revolution - Beastie Boys Book - Chapter 2 - Spiegel & Brau (2018)
- Maybe the People Would Be the Times (2020)
- O. K. You Mugs: Writers on Movie Actors (1998; with Melissa Holbrook Pierson)
- Félix Fénéon's Novels in Three Lines (2007)
- Beastie Revolution *voice recording* - Beastie Boys Book - Random House Audio (2018)
While Sante began creating art in the 1960s, he had his first gallery show in 2020 at the James Fuentes Gallery.
Awards and honors
- 1989: Whiting Award.
- 1992-1993: Guggenheim Fellowship.
- 1997: Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
- 1998: Grammy for best album notes (Sante was one of the album note writers for the 1997 re-issue of the Anthology of American Folk Music).
- 2010: Infinity Award for writing from the International Center of Photography.
- New York Review of Books, 2006
- Contemporary Authors Online, Farmington Hills, Michigan: Gale, 2009
- Kellman, Andy (n.d.) The Del-Byzantines, Allmusic.com, retrieved 2014-04-09
- "Take Me To The Water: Immersion Baptism In Vintage Music And Photography". Dust-to-Digital. April 26, 2009. Retrieved March 5, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Steinhauer, Jillian; Heinrich, Will; Schwendener, Martha (2020-08-19). "3 Art Gallery Shows to See Right Now". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-08-20.
- "Grammy winners, Anthology of American Folk Music". Grammy. Retrieved March 5, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)