Contributor to PRI's The World
I actually started my career as an indie-rock singer and spent most of my time in far-flung bars and basements from Olympia, Washington to Arkhangelsk, Russia, where I was psyched to learn there are rock clubs even in the Arctic Circle. Perhaps it was these years spent in distant hidey-holes singing to four forlorn Swedes that keeps me inspired, as a writer, to seek out stories that are unusual, arcane and perhaps interesting only to me.
In addition to reporting for PRI's The World, I am the author of the essay collection, You Must Go and Win, and the novel, Note to Self (both published by Faber). My writing has also appeared in The New York Times, New York Times Magazine and The Wall Street Journal, among other places.
Business, Finance & Economics
If you're wondering why pecans are getting so expensive, the answer probably lies in China. The demand for pecans in China has boomed over the last few years, but American growers are killing off the native pecan — America's only indigenous tree nut — to give the Chinese the varieties they want.
Development & Education
Forget about FEMA trailers. Housing advocates have designed emergency shelters that can quickly be turned into a permanent, custom home that are cheaper than current programs.
Conflict & Justice
The US spends millions trying to secure the US-Mexico border with agents, cameras and a huge wall. But just beyond that wall in Texas' Rio Grande Valley, residents are fighting for the street lights needed to make the area more safe.
Arts, Culture & Media
'China's Emily Dickinson' thrives along with a new generation of poets: Punk poets, micro-blogging poets and farm-girl poets. Annoyed traditionalists worry that poetry has become a little too popular and accessible. American poets may just look on in envy.
Lifestyle & Belief
It's a disturbing time for Jews in Europe right now. But the conflict in Ukraine seems to be making that country a little more welcoming to its Jewish citizens, even as they continue leaving the country in large numbers.