Archive for the ‘Croatia’ Category


In Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Dubrovnik, Montenegro, Pittsburgh, Uncategorized, Vermont on October 30, 2010 at 7:46 pm

This afternoon, a dream finally came true: I picked up 162 copies of my book, The Archipelago, from the offices of Autumn House Press. They look fantastic — I even love the spine. I am so grateful to my Autumn House dream team: Kriscinda Meadows for keen editing, Rebecca King for her magnificent design, Rick St. John for his business acumen and Michael Simms, President, who took a chance on a 30-year-old grad student.

And now you, too, can have your own copy.

There are two ways to find one:

Amazon: You can go to and order a copy. This is the most efficient way to track it down. Orders will start shipping on November 1, 2010. You’ll have your very own volume, full of mind-blowing adventures, in a matter of days.

Me: If you don’t want to pay for shipping, and you tend to run into me on a regular basis, I plan to carry around copies wherever I go. Copies are $20 (which is about the same price as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and it’s $280 less than a Playstation 3! What a deal!). I now have 162 copies to peddle, and nothing would make me happier to furnish you with one.

What will you discover among these pages? You’ll learn:

  1. What it’s like to get solicited by prostitutes in Athens.
  2. How it feels to fly down mountain passes in Albania. In a bus. In the middle of the night.
  3. Just what it takes to wreck a hotel room in Tirana.
  4. The joys of getting interrogated by Montenegrin border patrol.
  5. How to cross a [potentially active] mine-field.
  6. The awesomeness of Austrian mimes.
  7. What to do when confronted by American G-Men at the Sarajevo airport.
  8. The mysteries of “Turbo-Folk.”
  9. How Bosnians courageously survived the siege of Sarajevo.

Makes the perfect Christmas gift.

Thanks to everyone who made this project possible! Enjoy!


Flowers of Croatia

In Croatia on June 5, 2009 at 1:00 am

Archipelagos 151

Dubrovnik has never had “city planners.” When the walls were built around the Old City, merchants built house after house, using every inch of available space. Public squares served as bazaars for merchants, but the residential streets of Dubrovnik were packed, leaving no room for private gardens. Even today, greenery is reserved for the buildings’ upper echelons — walls cloaked in ivy, electric lines strung with vines, and rusted fire-escapes covered with potted plants. Seeing how cleverly, how precisely, the Croatians have decorated their streets makes me dizzy; I’m compelled to look in all directions at once, and the more I notice — an orange-tree, a surprise staircase, a hidden passage through the town wall — the more nooks I long to see. Dubrovnik is caramel and cocaine. There is no stopping once you’ve begun.