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Sandy Ernest Allen (he/him or they/them) is a writer and speaker. His work focuses on normalcy, especially to do with gender and mental health. Sandy is queer, nonbinary and trans. 

His debut book, A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise: A True Story about Schizophrenia, was published by Scribner (hardcover and audiobook in 2018; paperback in 2019). AKOMP is a radical and innovative work of narrative journalism based on an autobiography mailed to Sandy by his late Uncle Bob. AKOMP received much critical acclaim and was longlisted as a top work of journalism of the decade by NYU's journalism school. In 2020, the story of how Uncle Bob's life inspired Sandy's own path aired on This American Life. Much more about the book here

Sandy was recently featured again on This American Life in this piece about his singing voice and starting Testosterone. Sandy has produced two stories for the design podcast 99% Invisible (about the history of asylums and about bathroom desegregation). His essays and reported articles have been published by many outlets, including The CutGay MagazineGuernicaBon Appétit's Healthyish, and BuzzFeed News, where he was formerly a features editor. He also wrote a column called Between the Binary for the LGBTQ media site them. Sandy has received various awards and recognition. His work has been optioned and he has developed projects for television.

Sandy is the host of Mad Chat, a podcast about how pop culture shapes our understanding of mental health. He co-created the show with producer Lee Mengistu. Released in 2019, Mad Chat's 10-episode pilot season had many fans, including O Magazine, Self, and The New York Times, which raved: "Listening feels like hanging out with two of your smartest and funniest friends." Learn more about the podcast here

Sandy grew up in a small beach town in northern California. He studied nonfiction writing at both Brown University and then the University of Iowa (MFA). Today he lives in the Catskills, with his husband, Rob Dubbin, and their dogs, cats, plants, a very crucial sourdough starter and their internet-famous peach tree, Belvis.

Sandy is focused on writing his second book, which continues the investigations of the first. He's working on several other projects, including for the stage and screen. He's also often found in the garden or baking bread or at the piano.

He is no longer on social media. You're encouraged to subscribe to his free newsletter about staying alive on earth, What's Helping Today