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Hey, How Do You Do 'Literary Anthropology' For Esquire?
'Too many times, you read about people existing in the lands of others, and they've got an attitude. I keep my attitude out of it'- February 9, 2009
"Literary anthropology" is what Esquire writer Mike Sager calls his brand of in-depth reporting about hard-to-penetrate subcultures. During his 30-year career, he's lived with a crack gang, brain-damaged Marines, a 625-pound man and teenage pit bull fighters in Philly, experiences all chronicled in his latest collection, Wounded Warriors. His career reads like a J-school student's dirtiest fantasy: He spends weeks or months getting inside the minds of his subjects, then retires to the ocean-view home he shares with his wife and son near San Diego, where he spins hours of tape and pages of notes into award-winning narrative journalism that's been optioned into films like Boogie Nights and Wonderland. mediabistro.com caught up with Sager to reflect on what's he's learned from three decades in the biz....