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Christopher Goffard is an author and a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times.
A Los Angeles native with an English degree from Cornell University, he started at The St. Petersburg Times in 1998, where he covered cops, city hall, and courts. His work on the Tampa courts beat gave rise to "The $40 Lawyer," which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing. Since January 2006, he has been a general assignment reporter at the LA Times, writing about everything from border warriors and prison gangs to the legacy of Watergate.
He was part of the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting team that chronicled the Bell scandal in 2010, coverage which also won the newspaper a George Polk Award for local reporting, the Selden Ring Award for Investigative Reporting, and the American Society of News Editors Distinguished Writing Award for Local Accountability Reporting. Read Goffard's Bell story here.
His first book, a literary crime novel called Snitch Jacket, was published by Random House in the United Kingdom and by Rookery Press in the United States. It was a finalist for the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best First Novel in 2008, has been translated into Italian, French and Norwegian, and is being developed as a film.
The book was hailed by the UK's Guardian as "a thriller packed full of rich situations and even richer characters, and the fact that it is also very funny does not detract from the life-and-death action... This is a remarkably assured debut from Los Angeles Times reporter Christopher Goffard, who writes like an angel and plots like a demon." In the L.A. Times, Sarah Weinman declared Snitch Jacket "a wonder of sentences that sing."
Goffard's second book, a nonfiction work entitled You Will See Fire: A Search for Justice in Kenya, was published by W.W. Norton in 2011. It was hailed by Peter Orner on The Rumpus as "tense and harrowing... One of the finest non-fiction books set in Africa in recent years." The LA Times called it "a moving and powerful story, rigorously researched and documented," while the Tampa Bay Times said, "Although it's non-fiction, the book reads like a well-constructed, suspenseful crime novel."
Goffard's two-part series about an innocent man accused of rape gave rise to the Los Angeles Times's first ebook, A Nightmare Made Real.