Rachel Donadio is a Paris-based writer and journalist, a contributing writer for The Atlantic, and a former Rome bureau chief and European culture correspondent for The New York Times. Based in Europe since 2008, she focuses on textured feature stories and profiles at the intersection of culture, politics, and religion, as well as literary reportage and criticism. She has reported from more than two dozen countries and interviewed heads of state as well as prominent cultural figures, including four Nobel laureates in literature. She also contributes regularly to The New York Review of Books.
As the Times’ Rome bureau chief from 2008 to 2013, she wrote extensively on the social and political toll of the European debt crisis in Greece and Italy and the wave of populism that followed in its wake. She was among the first foreign journalists to interview Greek leftist politician Alexis Tsipras when he held the fate of Europe in his hands and also covered the Vatican during the troubled papacy of Benedict XVI and the Conclave that elected Pope Francis.
As the Times’ European culture correspondent from 2013 to 2017, she followed the staff of the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo as they put out their first issue after a deadly terrorist attack, interviewed artists facing censorship in Russia and Turkey, and explored ideological and cultural battles in Poland and Hungary. Since 2017 she has written for The Atlantic on France’s Yellow Vest movement, a high-profile French terrorism trial, the #MeToo movement, as well as on Italian organized crime and the identity of Elena Ferrante.
A graduate of Yale University, she grew up in Middlebury, Vermont, and has spent much of her life in New York, Rome, and Paris. In the fall of 2020 she was a visiting Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University.