Picador USA, Paperback, 9780312427467, 356pp.
Publication Date: January 22, 2008
When his girlfriend takes a job in Thailand, Mischa Berlinski goes along for the ride, planning to enjoy himself and work as little as possible. But one evening a fellow expatriate tips him off to a story: a charismatic American anthropologist, Martiya van der Leun, has been found dead--a suicide--in the Thai prison where she was serving a life sentence for murder. Curious at first, Mischa is soon immersed in the details of her story. This brilliant, haunting novel expands into a mystery set among the Thai hill tribes, whose way of life became a battleground for the missionaries and the scientists living among them.
"Fieldwork" is a 2007 National Book Award Finalist for Fiction.
"A Russian doll of a read . . . A story that cooks like a mother."--Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly
"An intoxicating journey filled with missing souls and vengeful spirits."--The Washington Post
"An entertainingly readable novel of ideas . . . Berlinski's narrative is brilliantly plotted and builds to a shattering but entirely credible conclusion."--Los Angeles Times
"A sad and powerful tale . . . Inspired and courageous."--San Francisco Chronicle
"An impeccably structured novel portraying two strikingly different milieus . . . Bravura storytelling."--The Seattle Times
"Airtight and intensely gripping . . . His treatment of both religious missionary and anthropological fieldwork is subtle and insightful. Impeccable research and a juicy, intricate plot play off in this perfectly executed debut."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Gripping and entertaining . . . A quirky, often brilliant debut, bounced along by limitless energy."--The New York Review of Books