Riall Nolan

Riall Nolan
Riall Nolan grew up in upstate New York, and joined the Peace Corps after graduating from college. He got sent to Senegal, in West Africa, an experience from which he has never fully recovered.

While there he began to notice that many development projects didn’t work very well, largely because outside experts lacked basic cultural understanding of local communities. That’s when he decided to become an anthropologist.

He headed to the University of Sussex where he obtained a doctorate, and began working around the world as a development planner. He spent nearly twenty years overseas, in places like Papua New Guinea, Senegal, Tunisia and Sri Lanka. When he returned to the US at long last, he became a university administrator in charge of international education at several large research universities. His goal was simple: get as many young Americans out of the country as possible, by any means necessary.

In 2010, he finally moved back into the ranks of the faculty, where he taught courses in development anthropology, cross-cultural adaptation, and the application of anthropology to global grand challenges. Before retiring in 2020, he split his time between Purdue University in Indiana and the University of Cambridge in the UK.

He is the author of eight academic books on anthropology and numerous articles. He has also published a guide to mountaineering in Papua New Guinea. Now his focus is on adventure novels.

Today, he lives with his wife Christine in a small university town, venturing forth as often as possible on exciting trips to faraway places. Aside from writing gripping fiction, he writes, hikes, makes furniture and tries to fix the house.

Books by Riall Nolan:

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