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Meline Toumani is a freelance writer and editor based in New York City. Her first book, There Was and There Was Not: A Journey Through Hate and Possibility in Turkey, Armenia, and Beyond, was published by Metropolitan Books in November 2014 and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. She has written about politics, ideas, books, and music for The New York Times Sunday Magazine and culture pages, Harper'sThe Nationn+1, Salon, The Boston Globe, NewsdayGlobalPostThe National, and Travel + Leisure. As a foreign reporter, she has worked in Turkey, Armenia, Georgia and Russia. Currently, she teaches graduate students in the Goucher College low-residency MFA program in Creative Nonfiction. 


In 2002 and 2003, she was the coordinator of the Russian American Journalism Institute in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, and in 2007 she and was a journalism fellow in residence at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna. 


Her work has been anthologized in Istanbul: The Collected Traveler, and included in The New York Times Presents Smarter by Sunday: 52 Weekends of Essential Knowledge for the Curious Mind. She has been an invited speaker in academic and private settings, a commentator on radio and television stations in several countries, and has led writing workshops for undergraduate and graduate students.  In addition to her freelance work, she has held staff editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, KQED Public Media, and GreatSchools. 


Toumani graduated from U.C. Berkeley with high honors in English and public policy, and holds a master's degree in journalism from the Cultural Reporting and Criticism Program at NYU.


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