2005 / Adrian Nicole LeBlanc

Adrian Nicole LeBlanc’s Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx began as a story for Rolling Stone about the trial of a 20-year-old drug dealer named Boy George. In the courtroom, LeBlanc met Boy George’s girlfriend, Jessica. For the next ten years, Jessica, her extended family and friends became the heart of LeBlanc’s life.

She chronicles that decade in Random Family, a haunting account of the day-to-day realities of urban poverty. This contemporary classic of immersion journalism has been described by the Los Angeles Times as “a nonfiction Middlemarch of the underclass.”

LeBlanc is also a frequent contributor to the New York Times Magazine. Her work has been published in The New Yorker, Esquire and The Village Voice, among others. She holds a B.A. in sociology from Smith College, a master’s of philosophy and modern literature from Oxford University, a master’s of law studies from Yale Law School and was a visiting scholar at the New York University School of Journalism. She also currently teaches at Columbia University.

LeBlanc has been the recipient of numerous awards, including a Bunting Fellowship from Radcliffe, a MacDowell Colony residency, and a Soros Media Fellowship from the Open Society Institute.

Selected Books and Articles

Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx
Scribner, 2003

The Price of Parsimony,” The New York Times Magazine, June 6, 2004

Prison Is a Member of Their Family,” The New York Times Magazine, January 12, 2003

“Drugs in the Blood,” The New York Times Magazine, October 6, 2002

“Landing From the Sky,” The New Yorker, April 24 & May 1, 2000

“A Woman Behind Bars Is Not a Dangerous Man,” The New York Times Magazine, June 2, 1996

“While Manny’s Locked Up”, The New York Times Magazine, August 14, 1994

“Kid Kingpin: The Rise and Fall of a Drug Dealer,” The Village Voice, December 10, 1991

“Girlfriends: Three Lives in the Drug Trade,” The Village Voice, April 23, 1991

Profiles, Interviews and Reviews

Kelliher, Laurie. “Ties that Bind,” Columbia Journalism Review, May/June 2004

Bronx Tales,” The Brian Lehrer Show, WNYC, December 29, 2003

Interview Women’s Hour, NPR, October 14, 2003

Haynes, Clarence A. “City Lit: Bronx Tales,” City Limits, June 2003

Random Family,” Morning Edition, NPR, May 7, 2003

Bronx Story,” Atlantic Monthly, April 24, 2003

“Ghetto Living,” On the Media, NPR, March 7, 2003

Martin, April L. “A Bronx Tale,” Cincinnati CityBeat, March 5, 2003

Family Matters,” The Brian Lehrer Show, WNYC, February 19, 2003

Avni, Sheerly. “No Way Out,” Salon, February 11, 2003

Thernstrom, Melanie. “A Novel Idea,” New York Magazine, February 10, 2003

Lyons, Stephen J. “ ‘Random Family’: Intentionally Shocking,” USA Today, February 5, 2003

Valby, Karen. “Random Family Startling Tale,” CNN.com, February 3, 2003

Farley, Amy, “In the Family Way,” The Village Voice, January 27, 2003