William Vollmann: Respected Author and…Terrorism Suspect?


William Vollmann is the author of dozens of novels, short stories, essays, and articles, and the recipient of a multitude of nominations, grants, and prizes, including the National Book Award.

He is also, according to a piece he wrote for the latest issue of Harper’s, the subject of a 785-page FBI file related to suspicions that he was the Unabomber or some other manner of terrorist.

The Harper’s piece is, sadly, behind a paywall, but this Washington Post summary hits some high points: “His file incorrectly claims that he owns a flamethrower. (“I would love to own a flamethrower,’ he writes.)”

Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →