My first publication was The Christie Chronicle, published erratically from the late 60s to mid-70s. I learned the ropes in the 1980s at the University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Since then I've been a beat reporter, foreign correspondent, columnist, essayist, editor and book reviewer. I wrote about urban life for the Oakland (Calif.) Tribune, then moved to Paris and Berlin as a foreign correspondent for publications that included the San Francisco Chronicle, the Guardian of London and Salon.com. I was an editor back at home, at the San Francisco Chronicle, first local desk chief, then head of the Chronicle Foreign Service, the paper's global network of foreign correspondents.
I've been freelance for much of my career: my stories have appeared in the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, The Economist, and many other publications. Currently I'm a contributor to the Books and Arts section of The Economist, and its online culture blog, Prospero.