J. Maarten Troost


The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific
Getting Stoned with Savages: A Trip Through the Islands of Fiji and Vanuatu
Lost on Planet China: The Strange and True Story of One Man's Attempt to Understand the World's Most Mystifying Nation
Headhunters on My Doorstep: A True Treasure Island Ghost Story


J. Maarten Troost is an international traveler whose essays have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Post, and The Prague Post. He spent two years in Kiribati in the Equatorial Pacific and upon his return was hired as a consultant by the World Bank. After several years in Fiji and Vanuatu, he recently relocated to the U.S. and now lives with his wife and son in California.

Praise for J. Maarten Troost

Troost’s chronicle of his sojourn in a forgotten world is a comic masterwork of travel writing and a revealing look at a culture clash.
— Publishers Weekly, on THE SEX LIVES OF CANNIBALS
Among the more memorable episodes is the time a simple fishing trip turns into a hunt for a giant thresher shark and when Troost blasts a Miles Davis CD to combat the incessant repetition of La Macarena. Troost’s mystified admiration for the I-Kiribati people shines through it all, and readers learn how humor itself can be a necessary tool for survival.
A delightful, self-deprecating, extremely sly account of life in a place so wretched it gives new, terrible meaning to getting away from it all.
— National Geographic Adventure, on THE SEX LIVES OF CANNIBALS
One of Troost’s greatest successes is that he’s not reporting, exactly, not writing as a journalist would, but simply living his life in a faraway place and writing about it.
Troost travels from the megalopolis of Beijing to small, remote trails in the hinterlands, the fabled Shangri-La and all points in between, allowing for a substantive look at an incredibly complex culture. He does an admirable job of summing up the country’s rich history.... Throughout, Troost is refreshingly upbeat, without a hint of ugly American elitism; he often steps aside to let the facts speak for themselves, and rarely devolves into complaints over the language barrier or other day-to-day frustrations. Those looking for tips on Hong Kong night life or other touristy secrets will be disappointed — few names are named-but readers interested in a warts-and-all look at this complicated, evolving country will find this a rich education.
— Publishers Weekly (starred), on LOST ON PLANET CHINA
Troost is a very funny guy, but he also has a lot of serious things to talk about. A splendid travel memoir.
— Booklist (starred), on HEADHUNTERS ON MY DOORSTEP
— The New York Times Book Review, on HEADHUNTERS ON MY DOORSTEP
A rambunctious, intimate trip well worth the armchair time.
— Kirkus Reviews (starred), on HEADHUNTERS ON MY DOORSTEP
Troost displays a level of sophistication rarely found in travel writing.  His humor is spot on, and one needs humor when reading about the loss of indigenous culture in the Marquesas, the urban sprawl of Tahiti, and the notion that Kiribati as a nation may soon be subsumed by the Pacific Ocean. Acquire this book by any means possible.