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Katya Cengel is the author of four non-fiction books, including most recently Straitjackets and Lunch Money, which the San Francisco Chronicle called “incredibly affecting” and Kirkus Reviews called “harrowing but engrossing”. Cengel’s earlier titles cover everything from minor league baseball in Bluegrass Baseball to falling in love at Chernobyl in From Chernobyl with Love. She has received an Eric Hoffer Academic Press award, an Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY), and a Foreword INDIES.
As a journalist Cengel has written for New York Times Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine and Atavist Magazine among others. Her writing has taken her to Utah to search for Bigfoot (she didn’t find him) and to Mongolia to write about female street artists. Cengel has been awarded grants from the International Reporting Project, the International Women’s Media Foundation and the International Center for Journalists. Her stories have received a Society of Professional Journalists Green Eyeshade Award and a Society for Features Journalism Excellence-in-Features Award.
Cengel lives in California with her dog Pip (named after the Pip in Great Expectations not the Pip from South Park), where she teaches journalism at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. The only topic she writes about regularly is Mongolia – a happy occurrence she has yet to figure out.
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