Travelling the Silk Road of Pop

Verbally, that is. My Q and A with the director of this wonderful documentary about Uyghur music is now up at China File



Keywords: Zombies, Pynchon


In what will probably be my only publication as a literary scholar (i.e. I wrote it ages ago, when I was still doing my PhD) I have a chapter in a beautifully designed book: Thomas Pynchon & the (de)vices of global (post)modernity.

My chapter is ‘You can’t always blame zombies for their condition’: Utopian escapes in Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice‘.

Also see my piece on attending the conference that the book is based on….

The many trials of Mr Horse


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.


Bo Xilai and ‘seeking truth from facts’

The nicest looking picture of Bo Xilai I could find

The nicest looking picture of Bo Xilai I could find

My take on the Bo Xilai trial, the biggest political trial in China for decades, now up at the LRB blog

%d bloggers like this: