In the Press
“[A] page-turning tale of suspense…. With novelistic writing, Frank masterfully weaves a fast-paced history of South Africa's Diamond Coast, and the impact of De Beers controlling both the land and the government. His thorough reporting on mineworkers, their pigeons, and towns that have struggled in the wake of mine closures makes for compelling reading…. [A] fascinating story of grief and history that will draw readers in from the first page. Must-read narrative nonfiction.”
LIBRARY JOURNAL, STARRED REVIEW
Never has a country-spanning food romp felt this subversive. Frank’s essays—which dissect signature dishes from all 50 states—are nothing short of brilliant…. [A]n exploration of humanity, life, and tastes, the book is delicious. A-
A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice Selection named one of the Best Books of the Year by Shelf Awareness Memory, mythology, and obsession collide in this “slyly charming” (New York Times Book Review) account of the giant squid.
NEW YORK TIMES
Matthew Gavin Frank’s latest nonfiction book, Flight of the Diamond Smugglers (about, among other things, the ways in which carrier pigeons were used by diamond smuggling rings in coastal South Africa) was published in 2021 by W.W. Norton: Liveright. It was selected as one of NPR's Best Books of 2021 and as a finalist for the 2021 Heartland Booksellers Award in Nonfiction.
He is also the author of the nonfiction books, The Mad Feast: An Ecstatic Tour Through America’s Food (W.W. Norton: Liveright, 2015), Preparing the Ghost: An Essay Concerning the Giant Squid and Its First Photographer (W.W. Norton: Liveright, 2014), Pot Farm (The University of Nebraska Press, 2012), and Barolo (The University of Nebraska Press, 2010); the poetry books, The Morrow Plots (Black Lawrence Press, 2013), Warranty in Zulu (Barrow Street Press, 2010), and Sagittarius Agitprop (Black Lawrence Press, 2009).