Mischa Berlinski was born in New York in 1973. He studied classics at the University of California at Berkeley and at Columbia University. He has worked as a journalist in Thailand. He lives in Rome.
About This Biography
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An Interview with Mischa Berlinski
Your new novel tells the story of a confrontation between an anthropologist and a family of missionaries working with one of the tribal peoples of northern Thailand. Let's start with missionaries. How did you get interested in them?
I was hanging out on the beach in southern India, at one of those places where people go who have much more time than money, which was certainly my case, when I met a pair of very unusual brothers. They were Americans, and very, very scruffy, with long hair and beards. They were making a living as hashish smugglers, and I got along with them splendidly. The older one was maybe twenty-five and the younger one twenty-two. They had a very unusual background: it turned out that they were children of a family of missionaries living in Japan; had grown up in Japan; and spoke native Japanese. (This, by the way, was how they were making a living as hashish smugglers; they said that the customs officials in Japan were so shocked to be addressed in fluent, idiomatic, perfectly polite Japanese by a pair of big-nosed foreigners with long hair that they never even considered opening their luggage. But I'm digressing.) They were estranged from their parents, but from the way ...
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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