About Reluctant Habits
Reluctant Habits is devoted to books, films, arts, technology, culture, politics, and journalism. It has been singled out by The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, Newsday, The Daily Telegraph, Details, and numerous other outlets of questionable repute. Reluctant Habits often includes 3,000 word essays on books, film reviews that often contain strange digressions, breaking journalism, and long-form conversations with the writers, artists, and cultural figures of our time.
On January 10, 2011, Managing Editor Edward Champion initiated The Modern Library Reading Challenge, an ambitious attempt to read the top 100 novels, as decided upon by the Modern Library of America, from #100 to #1 and write at least 1,000 words for each title. These essays are included within all the coverage. Mr. Champion is presently working on #89: Henry Green’s Loving.
As he spent five years reading (and finishing!) Finnegans Wake, he started a nonfiction counterpart.
Past contributors have included Levi Asher, Nicholson Baker, Nigel Beale, Michael Czobit, Richard Grayson, Sarah Hall, Erin O’Brien, Richard Powers, and Brian Francis Slattery.
To pitch ideas for articles or to address any corrections or inaccuracies, please contact Managing Editor Edward Champion. (Please also see our editorial policy, which addresses our ethics and journalistic practice.)
As of November 2014, we are not presently accepting physical material and we have largely moved away from books coverage (save for the Modern Library essays).
Edward Champion — Managing Editor
Edward Champion is the Managing Editor of Reluctant Habits. He is a Brooklyn writer with a receding hairline who sometimes answers to the name Alfredo Garcia. He once had a literary blog here called Return of the Reluctant from 2003 to 2007, but, in 2008, it was absorbed into the long-form written format of Filthy Habits, before this was transformed into the short-form/long-form halfway house known as Reluctant Habits, before this was in turn transformed into a long-form cultural entity called Reluctant Habits in 2010.
His work has appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Sun-Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, New York Magazine, Time Out New York, The Philly Inquirer, Newsday, as well as more disreputable publications. He is a podcaster of questionable repute, a playwright and director (Wrestling an Alligator, the San Francisco Fringe Festival), an award-winning audio dramatist of twenty-nine radio plays (along with comedic and dramatic writing for numerous other places), and a fiction writer. He can also cook up a pretty good breakfast and has learned to make several exotic dishes during the pandemic (including Iranian and Thai entrees). He also feels very silly writing bios about his considerable accomplishments.
Champion’s empathy-driven worldview is apparently so distinct that it has resulted in a great deal of confusion from readers. His friends have joked that, despite possessing a congenial and exuberant disposition, he is something of a Rorschach test for other people. He has been identified as a feminist, a Republican, a Democrat, a socialist, a Buddhist, a Christian, an atheist, an evil goon, a kind man, a snappy dresser, and an ignoble slob. What might you call him today?
For nearly eleven years, he ran The Bat Segundo Show, a radio show in which he conducted extensive and unusual long-form conversations with the writers, filmmakers, musicians, and other fine cultural people of our time. Said conversations were also absorbed into the Reluctant Habits canon, which includes close to four million words of essays, interviews, and dispatches — most of it authored by Champion himself. He’s been on the Internet for quite a long time and has been called “o.g.” by some of his younger peers.
For the last four years, he has been the writer and showrunner of the Parsec Award-winning audio drama, The Gray Area, an elaborate audio drama anthology series with an interconnected stories that deals with moral questions and psychological character studies, but that also contains such fun elements such as interdimensional portals, talking animals, peppy aliens, and a giant winged creature named Chester. There are close to 200 speaking roles for this massive operation. Champion writes, directs, edits, mixes, engineers, and does the sound design for all this. He has even composed songs for his audio drama and, upon being identified as a “fun actor,” has been frequently enlisted for voiceover gigs. He can often be found in discount stores buying unusual items that sound interesting. He sometimes performs improv and was trained at UCB.
He also sings and plays guitar. Before the pandemic hit, he was a karaoke king at two New York venues and starting to become a hit on the open mic circuit. You can find him on Instagram and TikTok. He is utterly confused by the fact that his weird TikTok videos have been appreciated by a younger audience, but he is grateful for their kind words.
He is also hired to speak before crowds from time to time.
If you’re interested in hiring Mr. Champion to write something for your publication, to make your podcast sizzle with originality, or you wish to employ him as an entertainer for your wedding (or some other interesting affair), email him here.
(Photo © Edward Champion)
Here is a small sample of Mr. Champion’s past journalism.
- Unfinished Desires (Chicago Sun-Times)
- Sleepless (The Barnes and Noble Review)
- The Exiles (The Barnes and Noble Review)
- The Golden Age of Television (The Barnes and Noble Review)
- The Dead (The Barnes and Noble Review)
- Gomorra (The Barnes and Noble Review)
- Dancing in the Dark (Chicago Sun-Times)
- That Old Cape Magic (Chicago Sun-Times)
- Who Killed Art Deco? (Chicago Sun-Times)
- The View from the Bridge (The Barnes and Noble Review)
- My Name is Sidney Poitier (Chicago Sun-Times)
- Pygmy (Chicago Sun-Times)
- Steal Across the Sky (The Barnes and Noble Review)
- The Little Stranger (Chicago Sun-Times)
- The Gamble (The Philly Inquirer)
- Philip Jose Farmer (Barnes and Noble Review)
- The Kindly Ones (Chicago Sun-Times)
- Pandora in the Congo (B&N Review)
- Captain Freedom (Chicago Sun-Times)
- The Canal Builders (San Francisco Chronicle)
- Fool (B&N Review)
- Jetpack Dreams and Don’t Stop Believin’ (H+, page 67)
- The Next 100 Years (San Francisco Chronicle)
- Reading to save you from Xmas kitsch (Guardian)
- Jack Spicer’s My Vocabulary Did This to Me (Los Angeles Times)
- Tony Vigorito’s Nine Kinds of Naked (Chicago Sun-Times)
- The Thomas Nelson Affair (Guardian)
- Books Column: Philip Hensher’s The Northern Clemency, Benjamin Parzybok’s Couch, Michael Davis’s Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street, Robert G. Kaier’s So Damn Much Money (02138, first issue of aborted relaunch)
- Science Fiction Roundup (The Washington Post)
- The Gone-Away World (B&N Review)
- The Wall of America (Los Angeles Times)
- The Culture Novels of Iain M. Banks (The Barnes and Noble Review)
- Loneliness (Chicago Sun-Times)
- The Novels of John P. Marquand (B&N Review)
- The Defenestration of Bob T. Hash III (Chicago Sun-Times)
- Thomas M. Disch obit (New York Magazine)
- Sarah Hall (B&N Review)
- American Nerd (Chicago Sun-Times)
- The Reel Stuff (L.A. Times)
- The Big Squeeze (B&N Review)
- Lonely Werewolf Girl (Chicago Sun-Times)
- Ralph Bakshi (New York Magazine)
- The Year of Disappearances (L.A. Times)
- The Ten-Year-Nap (Chicago Sun-Times)
- Button, Button (Los Angeles Times)
- Lush Life (B&N Review)
- Stanley Milgram (Guardian)
- The Good Rat (Chicago Sun-Times)
- The Learners (Los Angeles Times)
- The problem with X lit labels (Guardian)
- Anthony Burgess (Guardian)
- Riding Toward Everywhere (Chicago Sun-Times)
- Sharp Teeth (Los Angeles Times)
- Day (Philly Inqurier)
- Bowlderizing Children’s Books (The Guardian)
- In Defense of the Single-Sentence Paragraph (The Guardian)
- Gonzo and The Gonzo Way (Philly Inquirer)
- The Perils of Literary Biography (The Chronicle of Higher Education)
- Author Letters (Guardian)
- Watchman (Los Angeles Times)
- Signed, Mata Hari (Chicago Sun-Times)
- In Defense of Younger Writers (Guardian)
- Finding Iris Chang (Los Angeles Times)
- Zeroville (Philly Inquirer)
- Oliver Sacks Profile (Time Out New York)
- The Great Man (Philly Inqurier)
- Run (Philly Inquirer)
- Crooked Little Vein (Philly Inquirer)
- Death of a Murderer (L.A. Times)
- Bad Monkeys (L.A. Times)
- Confessional Writing Feature (L.A. Times)
- Marianne Wiggins Profile (Time Out New York)
- Blaze (Los Angeles Times)
- The Unknown Terrorist (Philly Inquirer)
- After Dark (Los Angeles Times)
- Lionel Shriver Profile (Chicago Sun-Times)
- You Don’t Love Me Yet (Philly Inquirer)
- Then We Came to the End (Philly Inquirer)
- The Color of a Dog Running Away (Newsday)
- Poor People (Los Angeles Times)
- Epitaph for a Tramp & Epitaph for a Dead Beat (Philly Inquirer)
- Un Lun Dun (Los Angeles Times)
- Mathematicians in Love and Mad Professor (Los Angeles Times)
- Lisey’s Story (Philly Inquirer)
- My Girlfriend Comes Back to the City and Beats Me Up (Philly Inquirer)
- Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman (Philly Inquirer)
- Saturday (January)
- Stop That Girl (January)
- Coast of Dreams (Los Angeles Review)
- Plot Against America/Cloud Atlas (January)
- The Coma (January)
- Aloft (January)
- The Epicure’s Lament (January)
- The Confessions of Max Tivoli (January)
- Love Monkey (January)