Before coming to The New Yorker, Als was a staff writer for the Village Voice and an editor-at-large at Vibe. He has also written articles for The Nation and collaborated on film scripts for “Swoon” and “Looking for Langston.”
Als edited the catalogue for the Whitney Museum of American Art exhibition entitled “Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary American Art,” which ran from November, 1994, to March, 1995. His first book, “The Women,” a meditation on gender, race, and personal identity, was published in 1996.
In 1997, the New York Association of Black Journalists awarded Als first prize in both Magazine Critique/Review and Magazine Arts and Entertainment. He was awarded a Guggenheim for Creative Writing in 2000 and the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism for 2002-03. In 2009, Als worked with the performer Justin Bond on “Cold Water,” an exhibition of paintings, drawings, and videos by performers, at La MaMa Gallery. In 2010, he co-curated “Self-Consciousness,” at the Veneklasen Werner Gallery in Berlin, and published “Justin Bond/Jackie Curtis,” his second book.
Als has taught at Yale University, Wesleyan, and Smith College. He lives in New York City.