Hi, I’m Lauren Sandler. How did I get here?
My career in journalism began in the mid nineties at NPR in Washington, where I worked on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, and as a producer on the cultural desk. I left NPR to accept a fellowship at NYU’s Cultural Reporting and Criticism master’s program—where I now occasionally teach—and transitioned into print.
I have written investigative reporting, features, opinion pieces, and personal essays on cultural politics for publications including Time, The New York Times, Slate, The Atlantic, Mother Jones, The Nation, The New Republic, Business Week, Elle, Marie Claire, The Guardian, Psychology Today, The Los Angeles Times, Tar (a wonderful, short-lived art and issues magazine, where I was Features Editor), Salon (where I was Life Editor), and The Big Money (Slate’s now-defunct business magazine where I wrote about gender and economics). I’ve also had the good fortune to write the Ritz-Carlton magazine’s regular culinary features, as well as occasional travel pieces.
Righteous: Dispatches from the Evangelical Youth Movement, about my journalistic immersion into the young Christian right, was published by Viking in 2006. I am a regularly featured commentator on gender issues and on religion for the BBC. My television appearances include CNN, ABC, and CBS, and I’ve had conversations on hundreds of radio outlets, from conservative talk shows to NPR.
I’m also an only child and the mother of one. When I was pregnant I swore I wouldn’t shift my focus from what I deemed the crucial, hard matter: wars over ideas, and wars fought abroad, with the occasional foray into the lairs of pick-up artists or the kitchens of renowned chefs. It didn’t take me long to realize that family—especially motherhood, and in particular our fertility choices—is exactly the stuff of all that hard matter. Just as women felt called to write about the battleground of sex—its politics and its pleasures—in the sixties, so I feel that today’s war is fought on the field of family. This is where our very freedoms are defined, often by other people. I wrote a Time cover story dismantling the stereotypes of only children, which evolved into my new book One and Only, published by Simon and Schuster. In the book I attempt to redraw the discourse on family size, wrestle with how best to reconcile motherhood and modernity, and think through what a liberated adulthood might require.
My own attempt at such a life takes place in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in a house my husband, daughter, and I share with friends. I cook like mad and listen to records and read novels. I go see rock shows and movies when I can. And I travel-—anywhere, from Branson to Beijing—-at every opportunity, often with my kid.