Richard C. Morais collected works.


Richard C. Morais is an award-winning American novelist and journalist. Mr. Morais is the author of the New York Times and international bestseller The Hundred-Foot Journey, a novel that follows the life of an Indian chef as he conquers the rarified world of French haute cuisine. The novel sold in 33 territories across the globe. In 2014, Stephen Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, and Juliet Blake released The Hundred-Foot Journey as a hugely successful and much-loved film directed by Lasse Halström and starring Dame Helen Mirren and Om Puri.

Mr. Morais’s sophomore novel, Buddhaland Brooklyn, is about a Japanese Buddhist priest building a temple in Brooklyn. It, too, sold globally and is currently getting developed as a premium TV series in the U.S. Mr. Morais is working with partners on that project and acting as an Executive Producer. Mr. Morais is also the author of the critically acclaimed biography Pierre Cardin: The Man Who Became a Label, and is currently completing his third novel, The Man With No Borders, the story of a Spanish private banker living in Switzerland and coming to terms with his life.

Mr. Morais’s literary works are all based on impeccable historical and technical research, a skill set he picked up as an award-winning journalist. He was both the editor of Barron’s Penta, an acclaimed glossy magazine for wealthy families; and Forbes’s European Bureau Chief, the magazine’s longest-serving foreign correspondent, stationed in London for 18 years. His unique brief at Forbes allowed him to travel anywhere in the world and to write on any subject that interested him. His unusual business stories – from a controversial interview with Prime Minister Tony Blair at 10 Downing Street, to his profile of the low-key Indian billionaire Adi Godrej – have led to multiple journalism awards.

Mr. Morais has uniquely won three awards and six nominations at the Business Journalist of The Year Awards, the only competition in the world where the best U.S. and British business journalists competed directly in a single event. His literary works, meanwhile, were semifinalists in the William Faulkner Creative Writing Competition and short-listed for Britain’s Ian St. James Award. Mr. Morais was named the 2015 Citizen Diplomat of the Year – the highest honor granted by Global Ties U.S., a private-public partnership sponsored by the U.S. State Department – “for promoting cross-cultural understanding in all of his literary work.”

When I Am Sad

October 15th, 2017

When I am sad, and the dark state of the world is weighing on me, I rely on a two-step system to get me out of my funk: I first retreat to my comfort read, Gerald Durrell’s My Family and Other Animals; and then I attend a Wealth & Giving Forum event, which shares philanthropic best practices and inspirational tales among wealthy families, so that they give smarter and better to charitable causes. This cool organization exists largely because of co-founder and chairman Glen D. Macdonald, who has made it his labor of love and gift to the world. It’s a small jewel of an outfit.

The Wealth & Giving Forum’s event theme on Wednesday was the epiphany – that intuitive insight into reality that usually inspires action. Bruce DeBoskey, president and founder of The DeBoskey Group, a Colorado-based consulting firm for philanthropists, started the night with a riveting story about the time he went backpacking through Turkey in his 20s. On that trip, DeBoskey witnessed an entire village physically taunting and mocking a mentally-simple man the same age as DeBoskey. The villagers threw rocks at the bewildered young fellow, poked him with sticks, put a bag over his head.

Afraid the mob would turn on him if he spoke up, DeBoskey walked away from the scene, uttering a prayer, as he left, “that god will help me never to be a bystander again.” It was his epiphany and led him to become an acclaimed trial lawyer “raging against the machine” and a philanthropist. He could not speak of the horrific event he witnessed for 40 years, even though the vision of that tortured young man “worked in me – and continues to work on me in powerful ways.”

What followed that evening were similarly inspiring tales by Katie Meyler, the founder of the More Than Me Foundation, who, among other things, is shaking up Liberia’s education system; Gary Oppenheimer, a self-confessed New Jersey gardener geek who has built a Web-based platform at that allows amateur gardeners to deliver their surplus produce to food pantries around the country; Tom Rutledge, a hedge-fund fixed income manager who is also the chairman of; and the overachieving Chandrika Tandon, who is a Grammy-nominated composer and vocalist, after she had a Blue Chip business career that included a long stint as a McKinsey & Co. partner.

But my favorite speaker of the night was Walter D. Woods, a high-ranking executive at AARP before having a crisis of the soul when he entered his 50s. A cri de coeur led him to a two-week horse trek through Mongolia — and his epiphany.

The sheer stamina and endurance needed on that trip reintroduced him to his “timeless self,” he says, and, back in Washington D.C., it led him to a career change. He is now devoted, as president of The Good Samaritan Foundation, to helping the elderly in our nation find their resilience and “feel loved, valued, and at peace” – those intangible psychic bedrocks that his own parents instilled in him as a child.

My heavy tread of just a few days ago is both lighter and more determined.



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