Katya Cengel’s new book From Chernobyl with Love: Reporting from the Ruins of the Soviet Union (Potomac Books, 2019) will be published in November. She is a freelance writer based in San Luis Obispo, California, and lectures in the Journalism Department of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

She was a features and news writer for the Louisville Courier-Journal from 2003 to 2011, and her work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Marie Claire, and Newsweek.She is the author of Exiled: From the Killing Fields of Cambodia to California and Back (Potomac Books, 2018) and Bluegrass Baseball: A Year in the MinorLeague Life (Nebraska, 2012).


It only took three days to hike a remote route to Inle Lake, but the spontaneous trek turned into a wild adventure filled with monks, a fired guide, and a land untouched by tourism.