Wednesday, July 6, 2022 Jul 6, 2022
98° F Dallas, TX

David McCloskey Got More Than He Bargained For

The novelist was looking for some book pub. We dragged his wife and kids into it.
By |
David and Abby McCloskey
Elizabeth Lavin

In September, I got an email from a guy who claimed to have worked for the CIA—not the one focused on the kitchen. He told me that his first novel, Damascus Station, would be published the following month by W.W. Norton and that he lived in Lakewood with his wife and three kids. I explained how the lead time works for a monthly magazine and halfheartedly asked for a review copy of the book. Quite honestly, I blew him off.

Weeks passed. McCloskey wouldn’t leave me alone. He sent an electronic copy of his book. I stuck it a folder on my desktop that I never open. He followed up. Then he followed up again.

So I read the guy’s book. Or I read the first few chapters. I was impressed. And then I googled Mrs. McCloskey, who turned out to have her own rather interesting story. Forget the book, I thought. I’m more interested in this couple. I finally wrote back to David McCloskey: “You’re going to get an email from a woman named Holland. Don’t trust her. She is a double agent. But see what you can learn about her and report back.”

That’s how I learned that McCloskey has a sense of humor, and it’s how Holland Murphy came write for D Magazine a delightful story titled “The Marvelous McCloskeys.” It was published in our February issue, and we put it online today.


Tim Rogers

Tim Rogers

View Profile
Tim is the editor of D Magazine, where he has worked since 2001. He won a National Magazine Award in…

Related Articles


Bradford Pearson Drops First Book Today

You promised yourself you'd read more books this year. Start here.

Fun Contest! Win Two Books Written by Seema Yasmin.

All you have to do is answer one simple question.

Ashley Yablon’s Narrow Escape

A whistleblower shares his story.