Matt Taibbi is an award-winning investigative reporter and one of America’s more recognizable literary voices.

Taibbi grew up admiring Russian writers, which led him to spend most of his early adult life in the former Soviet Union. After studying in Leningrad and graduating from Bard College in 1991, he worked as a freelance reporter for a number of years in and around Russia, including a period in Uzbekistan. In 1996 he moved to Mongolia and played in the Mongolian Basketball Association, where he was known as the “Mongolian Rodman.” Taibbi eventually resettled in Moscow, where he co-founded an English-language newspaper called the eXile, a satirical biweekly known for investigative journalism and practical jokes.