Carvell Wallace is a New York Times-bestselling author, memoirist, and award-winning podcaster who covers race, arts, culture, film, and music for a wide variety of news outlets. He is a regular long-form contributor to the New York Times Magazine, where his profile of Riz Ahmed was a cover story in August 2018. He has additionally written cover profiles on Mahershala Ali for GQ and Samuel L. Jackson for Esquire. Other high-profile subjects have included Tarell Alvin McCraney for the New York Times, Viola Davis for Glamour, G-Eazy for MTV, and Steph Curry for the New Yorker.
In 2019 Wallace published The Sixth Man, co-written with Golden State Warrior’s forward Andre Iguodala. The memoir of Iguodala’s life in basketball — released on Dutton press — spent four weeks on the Times bestseller list for Hardcover Nonfiction, 14 weeks on the Sports Nonfiction list, and made Barack Obama’s year-end list of favorite books. He is currently co-writing a book with the rapper Meek Mill on the topic of criminal justice, and his own memoir on childhood trauma and recovery, Profiles in Hurt, is due out in 2021 on the FSG imprint.
His 2017 podcast Closer Than They Appear explored race and identity in America and won a Radio Television Digital News Award for the episode in which he returns to his hometown to see a childhood friend for the first time in 27 years. His 10-episode podcast on Fred Rogers, Finding Fred, was named #1 podcast of 2019 by The Atlantic.
He has been a contributor to ESPN The Magazine, The Guardian, and MTV News, where he — along with Hanif Abrurraqib, Brian Phillips, Doreen St. Felix, Jessica Hopper, and others — was a music columnist during the fabled but short-lived 2016 reinvigoration of the platform. According to the Columbia Journalism Review, Wallace “dips in and out of popular culture and sports journalism with seemingly effortless fluency. He writes about familiar topics and makes them feel new.”
In addition to his work on culture and entertainment, he has composed several notable long-form reported memoirs, including a 2016 effort for the now defunct The Toast in which he explored the origins of the Green Book as a meditation on migration, race, and homelessness among the black population. His 2017 piece for MTV News, “The Roots Of Cowboy Music,” saw Wallace attending a cowboy poetry festival in the Nevada mountains and using the experience as an entrée into exploring isolation, loneliness, and the forgotten histories of black people. And his 2017 New Yorker work on the end of Barack Obama’s presidency was noted in 2018’s Best American Essays.
Wallace is a regular contributor to Slate, where he co-hosts the parenting advice podcast Mom and Dad are Fighting and writes the parenting advice column “Care and Feeding” alongside Nicole Cliffe. His 2017 narrative biographical podcast, Closer Than They Appear, for Al Jazeera, explored race in America through a combination of interview and memoir and won a 2018 Kaleidoscope Award for excellence in journalism from the Radio Television Digital News Association. He is a graduate of the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts and holds a BFA in Theatre from the Tisch School at New York University.
He lives in Oakland, California, and is the father to two teenagers.