About the Author



Patti McCracken was born in Virginia Beach, Va‭., ‬in October 1964, the youngest of six children‭. ‬At 15, she moved with her family to Clearwater, Florida. After college, she worked at a newsmagazine in Washington, D‭.‬C‭. ‬for a decade before moving to Chicago, where she was an assistant editor at the Chicago Tribune‭.

She eventually relocated to Europe to work as a journalism trainer, free press advocate, and newsroom consultant for the then-emerging democracies of the former Soviet bloc‭ and post-war Bosnia. ‬She was based in an Austrian village near the Slovak border, but her work often included long stints in Eastern and Central Europe, the Balkans, the Caucasus, and later North Africa and Southeast Asia‭.

‬She was twice a Knight International Press Fellow‭. ‬Over 20+ years, her articles have appeared in Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Wall Street Journal, Guardian, Smithsonian Magazine, and many more outlets‭. She is a member of PEN America.

This is her first book‭.

It took her a very long time to write it.