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An American citizen, I was born in Tanzania, but spent most of my formative years in Kenya. Since graduating from college with a degree in art, I have worked in north and south Sudan, Burundi, the US, and Egypt. Among other activities, I have taught art and English, started a library in south Sudan, and been involved with a traveling peace theater in Burundi. During my nine years in Egypt I have worked with Sudanese refugees in Cairo and done editing and writing work for the American University in Cairo Press and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (the new Library of Alexandria). I have also traveled extensively in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
My first novel, The Book of Flying, was published by Riverhead Books in 2004. It was reviewed as “original in concept, elegant in language, funny, cruel, and tender,” and “a lovely marriage of the literary and speculative genres.” It has been published in a number of countries. I have also published articles on Alexandria in various Middle-Eastern publications.
I am married, with two children, aged four and six. Outside of reading, my interests include typography, Alexandrian literature and history -- in particular the cosmopolitan inter-war years -- old Arabic poetry, and the Sahara.