Judith Thurman began contributing to The New Yorker in 1987, and became a staff writer in 2000. She writes about fashion and books, and her subjects have included André Malraux, Elsa Schiaparelli, and Cristóbal Balenciaga. Thurman is the author of Isak Dinesen: The Life of a Storyteller, which won the 1983 National Book Award for Non-Fiction, and Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Award for Biography. The Dinesen biography served as the basis for Sydney Pollack’s movie Out of Africa. A collection of her New Yorker essays, Cleopatra’s Nose: 39 Varieties of Desire, was published in 2007.