Fellow: Awarded 2010
Field of Study: General Nonfiction
Competition: US & Canada
I was born and raised in Africa, studied law at Cambridge University, and international relations at Oxford. I am an award-winning foreign correspondent, author, documentary-maker, and screenwriter.
After practicing human-rights law in Zimbabwe, I became a foreign and war correspondent, and have reported from more than sixty countries, including wars in Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Somalia, Congo, Ivory Coast, Sudan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Kashmir, and the last years of apartheid South Africa. I served as East European correspondent and diplomatic correspondent for the London Sunday Times, and chief correspondent for BBC television’s flagship foreign affairs program Assignment, making documentaries from such places as Cuba, Panama, Indonesia, Pakistan, Spain, Northern Ireland, the Philippines, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, the Baltics, and the Balkans as they descended into war. My documentary film, The Industry of Death, about the sex trade in Thailand, won the gold medal for investigative film at the New York Film Festival.
I also wrote and co-presented a three-part TV series Africa Unmasked for Britain’s Channel Four. I have written for a wide array of magazines and newspapers, including Vanity Fair (for which I was a 2009 finalist for the Michael Kelly award), National Geographic, The New York Times Magazine, and Men’s Journal.
I am the author of five nonfiction books: “Rhodesians Never Die”—The Impact of War and Political Change on White Rhodesia c. 1970-1980 (with Ian Hancock), Wild at Heart: Man and Beast in Southern Africa (with photos by Chris Johns and foreword by Nelson Mandela), The Three of Us—A New Life in New York (with Joanna Coles), and Mukiwa, which received the George Orwell prize and the Esquire-Apple-Waterstones award. My latest book is When a Crocodile Eats the Sun—A Memoir of Africa, which won the Border’s Original Voices Award.
I have taught writing at the New School, Princeton, and Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs.