July 18, 2014 § Leave a comment
More here. By me.
June 30, 2014 § Leave a comment
January 17, 2014 § 2 Comments
I went back to Kashgar, in southern Xinjiang, in September last year for the first time in 13 years. In 2000 it was a place that I was sorry to leave; I didn’t feel the same this time. More words and pictures about that can be found at Unmapped, a new travel magazine that’s publishing the kinds of pieces that are in short supply: well-written, insightful reports from places that the news agenda doesn’t seem concerned about.
November 7, 2013 § Leave a comment
My piece on being a politically engaged writer (or not) is now up at CITSEE.eu
October 4, 2013 § Leave a comment
My first dispatch from Kyrgyzstan is now up on the London Review of Books Blog
Here are some other photos of the town:
September 23, 2013 § Leave a comment
My new essay on knowing a Chinese James Bond is in the new issue of The Dublin Review
This is how it starts:
Everyone in Shaoyang Teachers’ College said Mr Ma had been a spy. If this was supposed to be a secret, it was badly kept. When I first met him, in 1999, Mr Ma was in his mid thirties. He wore black glasses with thick lenses; his hair was in retreat; there was frequently a look of astonishment on his face. He was bashful, polite, prone to excessive laughter. But the fact that he didn’t look or act like a spy only made the rumours more plausible. It meant that he had been a good spy.