Todd Kliman is an author, essayist and critic. He writes a monthly column on food and drink for The Washingtonian, where he is also an editor, as well as a weekly column on culture, and his writing has appeared in numerous publications, including The New Yorker, Harper's, The Oxford American, The Daily Beast and Lucky Peach. He is the recipient of a James Beard Foundation Award, among many other national awards, and his stories and essays have been widely anthologized.
His book, The Wild Vine, is a work of narrative non-fiction about a multi-millionaire redneck transsexual on an obsessive quest to restore the legend of a suicidal antebellum doctor, nearly lost to history, who accomplished what Thomas Jefferson tried and could not. The Washington Post called it a "fascinating story, complex and with a haunting finish," while The Richmond Times-Dispatch hailed it as "an outstanding piece of literature." Both Barnes & Noble and The Oxford American selected the book as an "Editors' Pick" for 2010.
Kliman taught literature and writing for 10 years at American University and Howard University. At Howard, he was also the editorial director of Chris Rock's magazine of satire, The Illtop Journal, modeled after The Harvard Lampoon.
In addition to writing and teaching, Kliman is also a radio talk show host, filling in occasionally on the Kojo Nnamdi Show, on NPR in Washington.
He has just finished a new book, Happiness Is Otherwise, a memoir of his artist father.
(And if you’re wondering why we are not posting a photograph of Todd, it’s because he needs to remain incognito for his job as restaurant reviewer. )