J. Maarten Troost biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

J. Maarten Troost

J. Maarten Troost

J. Maarten Troost Biography

Travel writer J. Maarten Troost was born in 1969 in the Netherlands and is of Dutch-Czech descent. He grew up in Canada and presently lives in Washington D.C. He is the author of three books which are about his experiences in the Pacific Islands (The Sex Lives of Cannibals, Getting Stoned With Savages and Headhunters on My Doorstep) and one book about his 3-month trip to China (Lost on Planet China). He has also written many essays for The Atlantic Monthly and The Washington Post. While he was a student, he wrote essays for the Prague Post.

Troost spent two years of his life in Kiribati in the Equatorial Pacific and when he returned, he was hired as a consultant by the World Bank. After spending many years in Fiji and Vanuatu, he is settled in the U.S. with his wife and two sons.



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Interview

Travel writer J. Maarten Troost describes his struggles with alcoholism and why he finds the islands of the South Pacific so endlessly inviting.

What is it about the South Pacific that draws you back?
Have you ever wanted to escape, to fall off the map and disappear for a good long while? Me too. No place in the world elicits that kind of draw than an island in the South Seas. It's where I go when I'm looking for a little dissonance in my life, a place to turn down the white noise of continental life and replace it with something more elemental. Like sharks. And long sea journeys. And sublime beauty. And all the other things that get your senses humming.

Also, having written two books about the region, I liked the idea of completing a South Pacific trilogy. It makes me feel like, I don't know, a real man now.

You followed in the footsteps of Robert Louis Stevenson. Why him? Have you read his books?
Stevenson has long been peripheral to my life, just hovering in the margins. It seemed like no matter where I washed up, whether on the islands of Kiribati or the Central Coast of California, I was somehow following in his footsteps. But it wasn't until I started reading him that I decided to explicitly follow Stevenson. I liked how he described the early books on the South Pacific. He called them sugar candy sham epics. This dude can write, I ...

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Books by this Author

Books by J. Maarten Troost at BookBrowse
Headhunters on My Doorstep jacket Lost on Planet China jacket The Sex Lives of Cannibals jacket
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