About Michael Gross

Michael Gross, one of America's most provocative non-fiction writers, is the author of the New York Times bestsellers House of Outrageous Fortune, 740 Park and Model, as well as Rogues' Gallery and My Generation. His latest book, Focus, The Sexy, Secret, Sometimes Sordid World of Fashion Photographers, is available online and in bookstores. He is a Contributing Editor of Departures and his journalism has appeared in The New York TimesNew YorkVanity Fair, Esquire, GQ and many other publications.

August 29 2016

For Focus, an end-of-summer Hamptons book-end

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Focus is “provocative…dishy…” writes Hamptons magazine in an end of summer bookend to its Memorial Day preview of the book. “Fans of his previous work will not be disappointed.” [Scroll down to read a brief interview.] Continue reading

August 22 2016

The reviews are in and Focus is….

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“Smart, well researched and written with an insider’s eye… engaging and on point….canny,” (Kim France, New York Times Book Review), “delicious, sweeping, thoughtful,” (The Daily Beast), “thoroughly absorbing…enthralling and riveting,” (Tim Gunn, Project Runway), “amazing… big, intelligent, exhaustively researched, lovingly written,” (Liz Smith, Chicago Tribune Syndicate), “deep-diving …groundbreaking,” (DuJour), “sizzling…relentless,” (Hamptons Magazine), “juicy. . . fascinating,” (Booklist), “often-shocking,” (Daily News), “simply unrivaled…a sensation,” (craveonline), “astonishing and unprecedented,” (The Daily Mail), “exciting…a must,” (Musée), and “important,” (National Post). Continue reading

August 19 2016

Focus: “Such a delicious read” –The Daily Beast

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Writing on The Daily Beast today, Lisa Santandrea says Focus is “such a delicious read…sweeping if not exhaustive; thoughtful, but not a work of criticism…It concentrates on the ‘glory days’ of fashion photography, from 1947 to 1997, and traces the rise and the fall of the celebrity photographer. Unfortunately for them, the fall occurs more swiftly than the rise.” Continue reading

August 16 2016

Focus reviewed in the International New York Times

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Focus “does not skimp on the gossipy goods,” writes Kim France. “There are descents into madness, prolific drug use, orgies, blackmail photos and suicide attempts…But this book…is also smart, well-researched and written with an insider’s eye…engaging and on point.” Click the image to read the review Continue reading

August 11 2016

Reminder: Focus on East Hampton this weekend

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I’ll be attending the East Hampton Library’s annual Author’s Night on Saturday, signing copies of Focus, described last Sunday in the New York Times Book Review as “well-researched and written with an insider’s eye,” “engaging,” “on point,” “canny,” and bursting with “gossipy goods.” Please click the image for details and come. Carpe Librum! Continue reading

Focus is “very compelling,” says PBS host Steve Adubato, and “a page-turner,” says Woodstock Writer’s Radio host Martha Frankel

Watch my interview with Steve Adubato here. Listen to my interview with Martha Frankel here. Continue reading

Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, R.I.P.

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Great Britain’s sixth Duke of Westminster, Gerald Grosvenor, possessor of a $12 billion fortune and owner of much of the land beneath Mayfair and Belgravia in London, has died at age 64, reports The Daily Mail. I interviewed the Duke and reported on a weeklong visit to New York almost thirty years ago for The New York Times. ”I do get tired,” he told me at age 34. ”You never sit down. When the adrenaline settles, it will be like having taken 100 sleeping pills and waking with a hangover.” Continue reading

August 4 2016

Focus is “well researched and written with an insider’s eye…engaging and on point…canny…” –New York Times Book Review

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“There are descents into madness, prolific drug use, orgies, blackmail photos and suicide attempts, successful and otherwise,” Kim France writes in this coming Sunday’s Book Review.  ”There is so much womanizing that the theme of infidelity is basically a subplot, and pretty much boils down to the following: A stunning model walks into a photographer’s studio; a marriage dies.”  Click the link to read the review.   Continue reading

August 2 2016

“The ultimate beach book…unrivaled…a sensation…” –Crave Online

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Crave Online’s Sara Rosen writes that Focus is “an intricate web of fashion, photography, and magazine publishing that is simply unrivaledFocus is a sensation, one that brilliantly blends the wild histories of seemingly disparate lives that were bumping up against each other inside the magazines. Gross is a modern day Vasari, giving us The Lives of the Artists in no small measure. But Focus is more than the stories contained within: it is an epitaph for an era whose time has come and… Continue reading

July 30 2016

Focus is “magic.” –Fashion Reverie

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“Great content,” writes William S. Gooch on fashionreverie.com, “can illuminate, educate, and charm the reader. Michael Gross, in his new book ‘Focus: The Secret, Sexy, Sometimes Sordid World of Fashion Photographers,’ has done both. The Golden Age of Fashion Photography is an era that wistful fashion pundits pine, reminisce, celebrate, and mourn for. In ‘Focus’ Michael Gross does all that—well maybe, not mourn—and so much more. ‘Focus’ artfully details how it all came to be, with images and content that stimulate the imagination, and tantalize the appetite for that rare synthesis of craft-meets-passion-meets-creativity, the true birthplace of all great art.” A lengthy interview follows. Thanks, William! Continue reading

July 28 2016

“A scintillating snapshot of the world of fashion photography” –Daily News

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The Daily News featured Focus again today in a Confidential item that only appears in the printed paper. In case you didn’t see it, click the image to read it. Continue reading

SpareMin finds Focus

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The SpareMin podcast spares a minute for Focus in its latest episode. You can hear my interview with Matthew Demello here. Just drag the slider on the podcast player to the 29:00 minute mark. Continue reading

July 22 2016

Focus on American Fashion

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American Fashion Podcast, “for the true fashion nerd,” focuses on Focus in its latest edition. Listen to it here. Continue reading

July 20 2016

Focus on The Today Show

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The Today Show focused on Focus yesterday. Or rather, The Today Show in Australia. An author “exposing” fashion’s excesses is not entirely without honor on morning television!
Continue reading

July 19 2016

Donald, Melania and The Art of Model Humping: A sex-and-money story

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The Daily Beast just published my meditation on Melania Trump, alleged former supermodel, and Donald J. Trump, her model-agency-owning presidential-wannabe squeeze. Continue reading

July 16 2016

“Dirty secrets, harassment, perversion and manipulation”: This is not Republican convention coverage

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Calling Melania Trump! The Slovenian former model (pictured on an old GQ cover) could be the key to unlocking what’s said in this story about Focus from Slovene Novice. Referring to a Helmut Newton photo session starring former model (and current Mrs. Rupert Murdoch) Jerry Hall, the headline reads, “He ordered her to lick his boots.” Continue reading

July 15 2016

Focus on Bryant Park: See You Wednesday

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On Wednesday July 20th, I’ll be speaking al fresco about Focus and the fabulous characters in it at The Bryant Park Reading Room in the heart of Manhattan from 12:30pm-1:30pm, in conversation with Alina Cho, the noted broadcast journalist, fashion commentator, and Editor-at-Large of Ballantine Bantam Dell. I’ll be signing books, too, after our talk. In case of rain, events are held under a tent at the Reading Room. In case of severe weather, please check bryantpark.org for the indoor location.

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July 14 2016

“Fashion photography is not about what’s been but what’s next.”

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Fashion photography web site Thebreed.com looks at the “provocative” Focus today. “It covers the lives of fashion photography’s masters,” Elyssa Goodman writes, “detailing their creative spirit and technical skill alongside their egos and vices. It shares the stories of the men and women behind the legends, what made them, what broke them, and why we must remember them today.” Continue reading

Pat and Mike Live at B&N

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Last night, a standing-room-only crowd filled Barnes & Noble’s Upper West Side store at 82nd Street and Broadway for a talk and book signing with (from left), supermodel-turned-memoirist Pat Cleveland, me, and photographer-turned Musee magazine editor Andrea Blanch. Thanks B&N and all who attended, including fans, friends, designer Stephen Burrows, models Alva Chinn, Bonnie Pfeifer and Nancy Donahue, and photographer-and-hair God Harry King. For those who missed it, more signed copies of Pat’s Walking with the Muses and Focus: The Secret, Sexy, Sometimes Sordid World of Fashion Photographers are available in the store. #BNUpperWestSide @BNUpperWS #focuysyourselfie (The photo is by Asli Pelit.) Continue reading

July 13 2016

“Photography is dead,” says (former?) fashion photographer Nick Knight, declaring “truth” collateral damage

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Echoing one of the themes of Focus–that an era has ended–photo editor and photographer Nick Knight has given an interview in which he goes a step further and declares photography dead. Then Knight, whose web site describes him as “among the world’s most influential and visionary photographers,” goes on, positing that photography has been usurped by what he calls “image-making — please could someone get a better description of it — because that’s what I do,” he says. “Because that… Continue reading