John Krich is a novelist, travel writer, columnist, critic, feature writer and journalist. His first novel, about the private life of Fidel Castro, shared the prestigious PEN/Hemingway Award and his groundbreaking anti-travelogue, renown for its sub-title Around the World In A Bad Mood, helped spark a boom in American travel literature. He has contributed to numerous major U.S. publications and was the main food columnist for the Asian Wall Street Journal.
John Krich was born in Manhattan, the only son of poet/sexologist Aron Krich and socially-committed theatre scholar Toby Cole. He fleetingly attended the Fieldston School, Reed College and N.Y.U. Film School before joining a radical San Francisco Bay Area commune and completing a gargantuan novel, Big Mac: A Book Disguised As a Sandwich, at nineteen. Honing his craft with three more unpublished works in the Kerouachian tradition, he was finally published in the fine print Italian edition Chicago Is, and then Bump City, a tribute to the denizens of his adopted hometown of Oakland, California.
Beginning his feature writing career as a frequent contributor for the East Bay Express, he simultaneously published A Totally Free Man: An Unauthorized Autobiography of Fidel Castro, an “imaginary” autobiography of Fidel Castro, the first small press book recognized by the PEN/Hemingway Award as best first novel in the U.S.
A year-long 1976 trip along Asia’s hippie trail led to Music In Every Room: Around the World In A Bad Mood, praised by Anatole Broyard of The New York Times as “wonderful, a kind of Twentieth-Century Divine Comedy.”
This paean to the pains of taking to the road led, ironically, to years as a professional wanderer for magazines like Conde Nast Traveler, European Travel and Life and Vogue, as well as three more books of travel literature centered on personal passions: El Beisbol, the first popular evocation of Yankee imperialism through Latin American baseball; Why Is This Country Dancing?, about a party pooper lost in the music and carnivals of Brazil, and Won Ton Lust, the Chinese diaspora as seen through a search for the holy grail of the world’s best Chinese restaurant.
He also penned One Big Bed, a bildungsroman set in the Sixties’ feminist turmoil and the text for three photography books, Waiting Game (about the Oakland A’s), Justin Guariglia’s Planet Shanghai and Johor:Asia Latitude One, a winner of numerous design prizes. His hundreds of pieces of journalism, always skirting the lines between fact and storytelling, the personal and the political, have appeared inThe New York Times, Mother Jones, TIME/Asia, Village Voice and others. He was a columnist on global arts for the San Francisco Examiner. He covered the 2008 Beijing Olympics in a blog for Salon.Com
Having left the U.S. for good in 1999, he served for six years as the main food critic, an arts, travel and design reporter for the Weekend Section of the Asian Wall Street Journal. The best of his collected food writings were recently published as the book, A Fork In Asia’s Road.
His latest novel, Donna Quixote, about the last mythic days of a crusading American communist, and others are just becoming available as e-books. He has been the recipient of San Francisco’s Media Alliance Meritorious Achievement Award as Writer of the Year and two National Endowment of the Arts Literary Fellowships. While teaching courses on travel literature, writing screenplays, wordsmithing for others, he continues, as writer and publisher Richard Grossinger once wrote, “to dance, without betrayal, between myth and history, poetry and politics.”
John Krich has lived for extended periods in such foreign climes as Venice, Beijing, Rio de Janeiro, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and London. He is currently settled in Lisbon with his wife, art historian Sandra Peixoto. He has one beloved daughter, Amita Anya Beijaflor, and is expecting the birth of a second, Joana Francesca Liberdade.