Maria Popova

Maria Popova

Writer / Founder

Brain Pickings

Brooklyn, NY USA

The most important thing that a person can decide-that should dictate what they do in life-is what matters in the world and why.


By Roadtrip Nation

Maria Popova


My road in life has been direct.
Grew up in Bulgaria; saw the end of communism and the rise of a new democracy.
Watched as new classes emerged; was fascinated by people starting to define themselves by the wealth and "things" they accumulated.
Went to college at the University of Pennsylvania to study this capitalist phenomenon.
Majored in consumer psychology and worked in the campus newspaper's marketing department.
Found that she was much more interested in the materials she was reading in the library than she was in the actual field of marketing.
Didn't enjoy college, but says the silver lining was realizing she didn't want to be someone who simply went through life hitting certain benchmarks of "success."
She'd started an email newsletter for her friends and coworkers that was essentially a record of the various ideas that piqued her interest.
As more and more people started to read and enjoy her work, she realized she needed to make this publication "the centerpiece of her life."
Keep following my journey


Writer / Founder

I’m a reader, writer, interestingness hunter-gatherer, and curious mind at large.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Learning / Being Challenged

Interviewed By

Anonymous Student