I am a free-lance writer of non-fiction and fiction. I was educated at Oxford (DPhil, Rhodes Scholar), Harvard (BA, summa cum laude), and Alief Hastings High School in rural east Texas, home of the Fighting Bears. I studied classical guitar in Seville, Spain with América Martínez, a disciple of Andrés Segovia. I also worked as an associate in M&A at Goldman Sachs in their London and Frankfurt offices. I've lived or worked in 48 countries.

My first book, Extra Virginity, is a New York Times best-selling account of olive oil culture, history, and crime. My articles have appeared in the New Yorker, National Geographic Magazine, New York Times Magazine, Atlantic Monthly, and elsewhere, and have been included in anthologies like Best American Science Writing and Best American Travel Writing

I am currently writing a non-fiction book on individuals, corporations and the law to be published in 2017 by Penguin-Random House (in their Riverhead imprint); and completing Subterranea, an historical novel and archaeological thriller set in the physical and psychic strata of Rome.