With xenophobia on the rise, my cross-cultural travel memoir, Lost Among the Baining, provides a strong counterweight. The story revolves around a field trip I took with my husband to live with the Baining people, an isolated group in Papua New Guinea. It was a difficult trip, and it haunted us for years—40 years, in fact, at which point we returned to these people whose very different culture we had come to appreciate.

Lost Among the Baining looks back—with a great deal of humor—on this life-changing trip to the bush, and its long aftermath. Reviewers have called it “haunting” “provocative,” “inspiring,” “compulsively readable,” and “laugh-out-loud funny.”

I wrote this book after several decades in literary journalism. Focusing on books, the culture of magazines, and travel, I've been a columnist and reviewer for a wide range of publications, from the New York Times and the Christian Science Monitor to the Women’s Review of Books. My two previous books are Faint Praise: The Plight of Book Reviewing in America, and Other People's Mail: An Anthology of Letter Stories.

These days, I'm concentrating on travel, both in my new work and on my blog, TraveLit, which reviews a selection of excellent travel books and brings together evocative quotations, links of interest, and reader recommendations.

I was born in New York City, and I’ve lived in London, San Francisco, and New Guinea. I now live with my husband in Cambridge, MA, and Sanibel, FL.

Please take a look at my pages for Lost Among the Baining, New Guinea Photos, TraveLit, and my two previous books: Faint Praise: The Plight of Book Reviewing in America, a widely-praised critique of contemporary reviewing, and Other People’s Mail: An Anthology of Letter Stories.

Lost Among the Baining: Adventure, Marriage, and Other Fieldwork is available in hardcover and ebook editions at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It is on the bookshelves in the Boston area at Porter Square Books, Harvard Bookstore, Brookline Booksmith, and the Coop. It's on the bookshelves in South Florida at Books & Books. It can be ordered at Longitude Books and Powells, through independent bookstores, or directly from the University of Missouri Press.

Selected Works

Travel Memoir
"Loved this book, which appears to be but is more than an account of an anthropological expedition, more than a travel book, more than a memoir."--Barbara Beckwith, author of What Was I Thinking?: Digging Deeper into Everyday Racism, barbarabeckwith.net.
"It is undoubtedly the best written account of, and reflection on, fieldwork I have read, and --perhaps -- the best book on fieldwork (period) I have come across. --Joel Savishinsky, Professor of Anthropology (Emeritus), Ithaca College, author of Trail of the Hare.
“An impressively insightful, deftly written, accessibly articulate, expertly knowledgeable, and decidedly analytical survey of…book reviewing today.”
Midwest Book Review
“Captivating stories in an anthology of epistolary fiction from the last 50 years.”

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