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Fred Waitzkin
Fred Waitzkin is a journalist and author of the acclaimed nonfiction bestseller Searching for Bobby Fischer, as well as the books Mortal Games and The Last Marlin. Thomas Dunne Books will publish his debut novel, The Dream Merchant, in the spring of 2013. It is a heart-of-darkness tale about an unusually gifted, irrepressible but increasingly flawed salesman who seeks to recreate himself in his old age. You can find more on Fred Waitzkin at and on Facebook at

Entries by Fred Waitzkin

Here Is How I Get in Trouble

(0) Comments | Posted May 9, 2014 | 9:48 AM


When I'm deep into a writing project, sweating and excited by the flow of sentences and images, I may slip in a quick peek at my iPhone. Then I turn back to the text and push ahead. A short paragraph later, I stare...

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Bull Sharks in the Marina (Part II)

(2) Comments | Posted February 10, 2014 | 1:24 PM


Most of us can eventually get used to almost anything -- natural catastrophes, war, even scores of huge aggressive sharks inhabiting a tranquil place such as the Big Game Club Marina on the Bahamian island of Bimini, my favorite boating retreat that I...

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Bull Sharks in the Marina, Part I

(2) Comments | Posted February 6, 2014 | 10:10 AM


"Look at those big fellas, " remarked my old friend James Rolle as we sat with feet dangling off a beat-up dock at the Big Game Fishing Club on Bimini, a small island in the Northern Bahamas.

Jimmy and...

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Transactional Love Reconsidered With Jaime

(0) Comments | Posted December 16, 2013 | 5:32 PM


My father once said to me, "The best friends you'll ever have are the guys you do business with." After a glance my way he underlined his thinking, "Eventually the rest of them will screw you."

Like many college-aged men...

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Transactional Love

(0) Comments | Posted June 27, 2013 | 5:41 PM

For almost 10 years, I worked alone in my Manhattan office, writing a novel about a charismatic salesman who is endearing on a personal level, but who operates in business without moral restraint -- he will do virtually anything to close a deal. Then, suddenly, time seemed to sprint ahead...

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Looking for Body Parts on Bimini Beach

(0) Comments | Posted June 7, 2013 | 2:09 PM


"So what's the news on the island Jimmy?"
"Oh nothing much happening, Fred. It's a slow time you know."

I was sitting on a crumbling sea wall alongside James Rolle, my best friend on Bimini, staring out at the...

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On Book Tour With Willy Loman

(1) Comments | Posted May 8, 2013 | 6:48 PM

I've spent the last three weeks on book tour with my novel, The Dream Merchant, which is about a salesman who can sell anything to anyone. My protagonist, Jim, hawks sundry products but on the bottom line he sells hope and the good life. Jim is gifted with charisma and...

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Who is your Muse?

(1) Comments | Posted April 8, 2013 | 5:03 PM

I have a very wise friend who is in his mid-eighties. I love my talks with Max because he always seems refreshed with new discoveries and the spirit of youth. He is a wonderful role model for a guy who has always feared old age and death. I often ask...

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Why did it take ten years to write my novel?

(5) Comments | Posted March 26, 2013 | 10:24 AM

Okay, so The Dream Merchant has just been published. It's an exciting day for me that was a long time coming. This is my first novel. But with all the things I might say about it, people keep asking me why did it take you so long to write?

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Friendship, Murder and Writing

(0) Comments | Posted February 22, 2013 | 8:46 PM

A good story does not sit in one place like a plate on the shelf. It breathes, moves around; it grows. It can change its mind. It can change your mind. A good story eludes facile description. It can be lovely for me while disturbing for you. It can reveal...

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What Is True?

(1) Comments | Posted January 10, 2013 | 3:22 PM

Here is a dialogue that came out of my kitchen during a family meal. I was recalling an event that had occurred recently in a coffee shop I frequent. I was into the pace and pathos of my anecdote, the sadness of a stranger I had lingered to talk to,...

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How I Became a Writer

(1) Comments | Posted December 6, 2012 | 6:37 PM

Even when my mother was an old lady we fought like dogs. I recall a few times screaming at one another in restaurants. It was embarrassing. Stella knew how to tear me open. We argued about my wife, my children. Sometimes the subject was my writing. If a story or...

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