I was born in Sacramento, California, and grew up in a new suburban enclave where I watched open fields give way to dozens of houses that looked exactly like my own. As a teenager, I spent several years living abroad: In Germany, following a year as a high school exchange student, I spent six months learning about refugee and immigration law while working for a representative of Berlin’s state parliament. The following year was spent in India, where I studied comparative religions, lived among Tibetan refugees and Western hippies in the village of McLeod Ganj (Dharamsala), and spent four months documenting the lives of Burmese refugees in New Delhi.
I returned to the US and moved to San Francisco on September 12, 2001—timing that made my internship at the International Rescue Committee, a refugee resettlement agency, particularly challenging and interesting. In the spring, I enrolled in the New College of California to complete my undergraduate degree. There I studied psychology, political theory, and media criticism, which led to my senior thesis, “Islam: What’s Fit to Print?,” an examination of post-9/11 representations of Islam and Muslims in the New York Times. My head having been turned away from policy activism and toward alternative media, I began writing for a new publication, LiP: Informed Revolt, and eventually became the managing editor of the magazine. After LiP folded due to financial problems in 2006, I began working as a freelance writer, editor, and German translator, and moved across the bay to Oakland.
In 2007, I began working for North Atlantic Books as a project editor and acquisitions editor for the Blue Snake Books imprint (focusing on martial arts). In 2010, I took on another imprint: Evolver Editions, a collaboration with the web magazine Reality Sandwich and the Evolver social network. I continue to write reviews and features for print and web publications, which you can read about here.
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