March 25, 2016 § Leave a comment

The new Sokurov film about The Louvre is out soon – the trailer raises both the typical fears (that it will be pretentious) and the typical hopes (that it will be sublime).

This Census-Taker

February 9, 2016 § Leave a comment


I review China Mieville’s new novella in the latest Literary Review. My three-word verdict: ‘confused and confusing’.

China Rhyming

January 18, 2016 § Leave a comment



Thanks to Paul French for his piece on China’s Forgotten People on his excellent blog, which has a lot of good material on the erosion of China’s visible history.

Letter to LRB

January 13, 2016 § Leave a comment


I wrote a response to Seymour Hersh’s recent piece on Syria in the London Review of Books.

For your listening pleasure

January 13, 2016 § Leave a comment


I read out my short story ‘And Then’ from the latest issue of The Southern Review.

Powells Best of 2015.

January 12, 2016 § Leave a comment



Thanks to Powells for featuring The Casualties on their Best of 2015 list, as picked by their booksellers – probably my favourite group of people to be liked by.

Urbanisation in Xinjiang

December 17, 2015 § Leave a comment

There’s an interesting piece on urbanisation in Xinjiang by Wade Shepard at The Diplomat (in which I am quoted). He writes about Horgos, the  border town near Yining, where I used to live, and the speed with which Horgos is being transformed into a municipality. In general terms, it seems that the development of this much vaunted New Silk Road is centered around the north of Xinjiang, and thus runs the risk of further widening the economic gap between it and the south of the region (which is where most Uyghurs live).

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