Articles

Articles by Martha Sherrill

My first job in publishing was fashion assistant at The Washington Post, working for legendary editor Nina Hyde. She was intelligent, sophisticated and strong — a powerhouse and total pro. She taught me so many important things about life, work, journalism, and decency. After two years as Nina’s sidekick, I was given a paid summer internship in general assignment feature writing in the Style section. The following year, I was hired as a full-time staff writer. My first beat was covering parties. (The editor of Style, Mary Hadar, said: “I don’t care if you’re the next Updike, what I need is a party reporter.”)  The following year, I ascended to covering arts, entertainment and politics.

Ben Bradlee, the executive editor of the newspaper, was a guiding light, a sidelines kibbitzer and great male muse. He had high standards and was an inspiration — and pushed us all to be better. Over time I did a bit of everything: profiles, investigative stories, mood essays, scene pieces, group studies, and quick “day hits” about washed up movie stars. I was sent to L.A. to cover earthquakes and riots. I was sent to Milwaukee for serial murderer Jeffrey Dahmer’s trial. I was sent to Barcelona to cover the Olympics. For the last fifteen years, I have worked mostly on books. Recent journalism is discussed on the News page of this site.

I have always been more interested in human psychology and group behavior than news.

The Washington Post (click for archives)
Ben Bradlee – Appreciation, “Hey, Tiger,” October 21, 2014
Senators Olympia Snowe + Susan Collins, dual-profile, “The Sisters of Maine,”  May 5, 2011
John Kennedy Jr., September 7, 1995
“Warriors in Waiting” – A Study of Political Fanaticism, September 1, 1995
Shirley Temple, June 29, 1995
“Happy People” – The Psychology of Contentment, May 17, 1995
“The Neo-Martini” – essay, April 5, 1995
“Learning to Love Vulgarity” – essay, January 1, 1995
Jodie Foster, December 25, 1994
Bernardo Bertolucci, May 22, 1994
Jack LaLanne, March 24, 1994
Robert De Niro, October 13, 1993
Clint Eastwood, July 11, 1993
Peter O’Toole, April 24, 1993
“Cynics Adrift in a Place Called Hope” – essay, March 3, 1993
The Education of Hillary Clinton, three part series, Jan 11 – 13, 1993
Charles Barkley, July 29, 1992
Richard Ben Cramer, July 6, 1992
Lena Wertmuller, May 3, 1992
Katherine Dunham, March 16, 1992
“Out There” – Homelessness essay, January 19, 1992
Nicholson Baker, January 16, 1992
Paul Fussell, December 17, 1991
Angelica Huston, November 17, 1991
Sonny Bono, July 19, 1991
Madonna, May 14, 1991
Agnes de Mille, October 14, 1990
Whit Stillman, September 14, 1990
Robert Goulet, August 28, 1990
Hanif Kureishi, July 24, 1990
Gerald Depardieu,  April 11, 1990
“Oh, What A Night in Morocco” – Malcolm Forbes 70th Birthday Party, Aug 16 – 22, 1989
Steven Soderbergh, Aug 11, 1989
Geena Davis, May 12, 1989
Errol Morris, Jan 3, 1989
Placido Domingo, Nov 3, 1988
Pauline Trigere, Oct 29, 1988
Grace Mirabella, July 25, 1988

Esquire
“My Father, The Bachelor” – June 1999.
“The Doughnut that Saved Las Vegas” – September 1998
“Bill Clinton – “The Hardest Working Man in Show Business” – April 1998
Rudy Giuliani - “Rudy Giuliani is a Colossal Asshole” - October 1997
Dream Girl – “The Allegra Coleman Nobody Knows” – November 1996 (cover story, pictured below)
Steve Martin - “Mr. Lonelyhearts”- April 1996 (cover story, pictured below)
Sen. Robert Kerrey – “Grave Doubts”- January 1996
Jim Carrey – “Jim Carrey Feels No Pain”- December 1995
Andre Agassi – “Educating Andre” – May 1995
Don Imus – “The King of I”- October 1994

steve-allegra

Vanity Fair
“San Simeon’s Child” – April 1995.  (Vanity Fair’s Hollywood, 2000)

The New York Times
Leslie Blodgett -  “Move Over, Estee Lauder” - June 12, 2011
Bill Ford – “The Buddha Of Detroit”  - Nov 26, 2000

Conde Nast Traveler
Hokkaido - “A Japanese Winter’s Tale” –  July 2009
Sailing Cape Cod - “Briny Flight to Summer” - August 2010

McKinsey & Company
“Reviving a Noble Breed” – essay for “Reimaging Japan: The Quest for a Future that Works, 80 Global Insights,” McKinsey, the Shogakuan Group, 2011

University of California Press
“The Story of the Rose” – essay for “Jay DeFeo and The Rose,” November 2003

Below, from the Esquire essay, “My Father, the Bachelor”

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