Larissa MacFarquhar is a Class of 2018 Emerson Fellow. She is writing a book about the decision to stay, leave, or return to a hometown, how that can affect a person’s worldview, and how countless such decisions shift America’s politics. Her previous book, Strangers Drowning: Impossible Idealism, Drastic Choices, and the Urge to Help, told the stories of people with an extreme sense of ethical duty, and traced a history of attitudes towards them. Since 1998 she has been a staff writer at the New Yorker magazine, where she has written recently about the Bronx Family Court and Trump voters in West Virginia. Her profile subjects have included philosopher Derek Parfit, candidate Barack Obama, and poet John Ashbery.