The smell of death

March 20, 2017 § Leave a comment

Backstreet 3 copy

In today’s Guardian I wander round various lesser-known Chinese cities and talk to people about what it’s like to live and work in such fast expanding places. I am also asked to sample the smell of death.

The same thing, on a larger scale, is the subject of my next book, Chasing the Chinese Dream, out in September from IB Tauris.


The Burning Question

March 3, 2017 § Leave a comment

In which I answer the burning question of WHY I WRITE. Warning: this contains my actual voice.

The Explosion Chronicles

March 1, 2017 § Leave a comment


I reviewed Yan Lianke’s novel The Explosion Chronicles in the March issue of Literary Review. I thought it was a bloated, prurient, timid satire.

The Return of Munchausen

March 1, 2017 § Leave a comment


I wrote a piece on the great Soviet fabulist Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky for Open Letters Monthly.

Where Am I?

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