Pushkar is com­ing with me. Well, Jim and Em and Fi are com­ing with me, or I’m leav­ing Pushkar with them. It proves to be one of those great trav­el­ling days, where con­ver­sa­tion between friends new and old drifts from …

Bun­di Read More »

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Pushkar is a spe­cial place, one that will remain long in bliss­ful mem­o­ry. After an anx­i­e­ty-induc­ing bus ride from Jaipur – fea­tur­ing no less than three near-death expe­ri­ences – I arrive at the lake where Brah­ma, it is said, once …

Pushkar Read More »

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I take a taxi to Kalighat, one of Kolkata’s most sacred sites. As so often in India – as in the world – the near­er one draws to the sacred, the more like­ly one is to trip over the pro­fane. …

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Kolkata, a tang of sweat and car fumes, as a pre­paid taxi takes the roulette out of arriv­ing in a new city at night. A late check-in inspires a flur­ry of activ­i­ty at the Broad­way Hotel. The place is ram­shackle, …

Kolkata Day One Read More »

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Almost bombed out of exis­tence dur­ing World War Two, the city of Nurem­berg has recov­ered beau­ti­ful­ly, and — thanks to exten­sive recon­struc­tion — the city’s medieval cen­tre charms as it must have done cen­turies ago, albeit with less Plague, and …

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In a spe­cial two-part work­shop at San­ta Sabi­na in mid-2017, I had the hon­our of work­ing with an incred­i­ble cohort of Year 10 Eng­lish stu­dents. To begin, I deliv­ered a one hour lec­ture that offered a brief overview of the …

Dystopi­an Fic­tion at San­ta Sabi­na Col­lege 2017 Read More »

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On the 18th of June 2017, I was invit­ed to speak at the St. James’ Insti­tute in Syd­ney, along­side the Hon. Michael Kir­by, Chair of the UN Com­mis­sion of Inquiry on Human Rights in the DPRK. The St. James’ Insti­tute …

Com­mu­nism and Faith in North Korea Read More »

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The great­est ple­saure of the author’s life — this author’s life, in any case — is meet­ing read­ers. Writ­ing is a soli­tary task much of the time, even if social media now allows authors to share their tri­umphs and frus­tra­tions …

New­ing­ton Fes­ti­val of Lit­er­a­ture Read More »

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On the town side of the Danube, open­ing night of the Regens­burg jazz fes­ti­val offers the pre­dictable plea­sures of beer, pret­zels and jazz. Yet cross the riv­er and one pass­es through a Bavar­i­an look­ing-glass, to a place where Ger­mans of …

Regens­burg Read More »

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Return to PART ONE Cit­i­zens of Par­adise: Lear’s Non­sense Escapes In Non­sense Songs (1870) and Laugh­able Lyrics (1876), Edward Lear eschewed the con­strict­ed lim­er­ick struc­ture of A Book of Non­sense. Embrac­ing the Roman­ti­cism he once shunned, the poet­’s Cal­ibans are …

Edward Lear: Escape Read More »

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