I’m a writer who likes to dig in deep, immerse myself in complexity, and emerge to tell a good story, whether I’m writing long-form journalism or fiction.

I’m a senior-level editor who has worked with everyone from first-class scientists and political muckrakers to art critics and lifestyle writers. I’ve run magazines and worked one-on-one with people writing books. I enjoy both.

And I’m an experienced teacher, having spent more than 20 years in college classrooms teaching journalism and creative nonfiction. I lead workshops and classes through the Writers Grotto in San Francisco, and I also offer workplace training.

On the personal side: I’m obsessed with the intersection of world history, geography, and family stories, and I’m fascinated by research into inherited trauma. I love literary mysteries and I keep myself grounded with walks in the redwoods near my house. I’ve raised an amazing daughter and I’m married to a Norwegian economist, which means I spend part of my time as an inarticulate migrant in a land where I don’t speak the language well. I have deep empathy for the dispossessed.

Long ago, I grew up with five brothers and two sisters in a dilapidated farmhouse in what was then an unincorporated part of the San Francisco Bay Area. We had no money but a houseful of books and as children we were somewhat feral. (Today, we'd be called free-range.) I studied at the University of California at Berkeley, where I graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English Literature and was managing editor of The Daily Californian. I supposed my life's direction was established, even then.

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