An American novelist, literary critic, and non-fiction author, he is best known for such historical fiction works as Watergate and Henry and Clara. His non-fiction works include Yours Ever, A Book of One's Own, and Stolen Words.
He attended Brown University and later earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. from Harvard.
He received both an Ingram Merrill Foundation Award and a Rockefeller Fellowship.
He grew up on Long Island. He and his partner later settled in Washington, D.C.
He was the literary editor of GQ; David Furnish was a contributor to the same magazine.