Will Buckingham's Picture

Stories, Ideas, Travels

Hello! I’m Dr Will Buckingham. I’m a writer, philosopher and faculty member at Parami University, Myanmar. My most recent book, “Hello, Stranger” (Granta 2022) was a BBC Radio4 Book of the Week. I co-direct Wind&Bones, a social enterprise dedicated to writing and social change, and I am currently based in Tainan, Taiwan.

Bad Diagnoses: What’s Wrong With Writer’s Block.

Bad Diagnoses: What’s Wrong With Writer’s Block.

Writer’s block exists. But it is not a useful diagnosis.

Public Philosophy Salon in Tainan

Public Philosophy Salon in Tainan

Talking philosophy in Tainan

Nourishing Tainan | 滋養台南

Nourishing Tainan | 滋養台南

A residency exploring food, stories and the philosophy of everyday life.

At Taitung University

At Taitung University

Talking about social entrepreneurship

In Busan

In Busan

The World Humanities Forum, strangers and friends

Philoxenia and Museums

Philoxenia and Museums

In November, I'll be in Korea at the 2023 WHF, talking about museums as places for cultivating friendship with otherness.

Dragon-Carving for Writers: Read the work online

Dragon-Carving for Writers: Read the work online

A British Council funded project, working with seven writers and translators from the UK and China.

Residency at Nanning Literature House

Residency at Nanning Literature House

This December, I'll be at the Nanning literature house in Tainan on a 10-day residency.

A New Term in Myanmar

A New Term in Myanmar

Consulting for a Documentary on the BBC World Service

The Economist

The Economist

Review of HELLO, STRANGER

Will Buckingham has written a moving memoir of finding solace, after the death of his life partner, in travelling and talking in lands such as Myanmar that are culturally distant from his native England.

The Guardian

The Guardian

Review of HELLO, STRANGER

An elegant and moving exploration of what it means to connect with strangers turns into an elegy for a much-missed way of life... while Hello, Stranger is a beautiful meditation on the pleasures and pains of a world to which many of us yearn to return, it may also be an elegy for a world that is lost to us for some time to come.

The Herald, Scotland

The Herald, Scotland

Review of HELLO, STRANGER

A wonderful mix of history, anthropology and psychology... a marvellous, restrained study of humanity... In this era of walls and hatred of the other, it’s a necessary work.

The Mail on Sunday

The Mail on Sunday

Review of HELLO, STRANGER

A well-constructed, eloquent celebration of the traditions and rituals of hospitality and of opening your door to unknown guests.

The Bookseller

The Bookseller

HELLO, STRANGER, Editors' Choice

Humane and heart-warming.

Philip Marsden, author of The Summer Isles

Philip Marsden, author of The Summer Isles

Praise for HELLO, STRANGER

A glorious book, fabulously learned and funny, and filled with all manner of stirring stories.

Madeleine Bunting, author of Labours of Love - The Crisis of Care

Madeleine Bunting, author of Labours of Love - The Crisis of Care

Praise for HELLO, STRANGER

A treasure trove of all the possibilities strangers can be to each other. Read, learn and savour.

Kyunghyang Shinmun, Korea

Kyunghyang Shinmun, Korea

Review of HELLO, STRANGER

A book that gives you the motivation and reason to break out of your long isolation.

The Korea Times

The Korea Times

Review of HELLO, STRANGER

A literary, philosophical, historical, and intellectual exploration of strangeness and hospitality.

Times Literary Supplement

Times Literary Supplement

Review of STEALING WITH THE EYES

Fascinating… As a memoir, ‘Stealing With the Eyes’ is powerful. Buckingham has a wonderful eye for detail, and the tale he has woven is gripping.

John Paul Flintoff, author of How to Change the World

John Paul Flintoff, author of How to Change the World

Praise for HELLO, STRANGER

Buckingham provides a map for others to follow, showing that when we show kindness to strangers, we may be entertaining angels unawares.

Helsinki Book Review

Helsinki Book Review

Review of STEALING WITH THE EYES

Moving in the realms of personal travelogue and the novel, Stealing With the Eyes is a curious and always entertaining book, driven by lively dialogue with occasional dips into beautiful observations that verge on epiphany.

The BookBag

The BookBag

Review of THE SNORGH AND THE SAILOR

This book is such a delightful read, with exciting adventures involving a journey out to sea in a bathtub, great whales and desert islands and even sea monsters... The Snorgh and the Sailor was just a little bit wonderful.

Julia Donaldson, author of The Gruffalo

Julia Donaldson, author of The Gruffalo

Praise for THE SNORGH AND THE SAILOR

Outstanding – adventurous and quirky.

Emily Calandrelli, Correspondent on Bill Nye Saves the World.

Emily Calandrelli, Correspondent on Bill Nye Saves the World.

Praise for LUCY AND THE ROCKET DOG

I wish I had this book when I was a kid! It brings you on a fun adventure through the universe and sneaks in some fascinating science along the way.

Louis de Bernières

Louis de Bernières

Praise for THE DESCENT OF THE LYRE

This is a book that is memorable for all the right reasons. The story is gripping and highly original, and it is beautifully written.

Historical Novel Review

Historical Novel Review

Review of THE DESCENT OF THE LYRE

Do not mistake this for a mere retelling. This is masterful storytelling.

The Bookseller

The Bookseller

Review of THE DESCENT OF THE LYRE

A well-written, lyrical tale.

Left Lion Magazine

Left Lion Magazine

Review of FINDING OUR SEA-LEGS

An examination of philosophy and stories that will leave you waving, not drowning...

The Bookseller

The Bookseller

Review of THE SNORGH AND THE SAILOR

This is a charming book that celebrates the power of the imagination and the thrill of adventure

Asian Review of Books

Asian Review of Books

Review of SIXTY-FOUR CHANCE PIECES

Buckingham's stories are glimpses into worlds familiar yet somehow distant, their landscapes and cultures verging on the mythical.Eclectic, with a healthy dose of humor, the stories of Sixty-Four Chance Pieces act as provocations to consider the nature of our respective political, social and personal realities.

Professor Harry Miller, University of South Alabama

Professor Harry Miller, University of South Alabama

Review of SIXTY-FOUR CHANCE PIECES

A meandering search for meaning through a broad expanse of cultural material from Baal to Billie Holiday... This Book of Changes has made me rejoice that I am living in an age that has produced such brilliantly unconventional, refreshing, and fulfilling books.

Tim Hannigan, author of THE TRAVEL WRITING TRIBE

Tim Hannigan, author of THE TRAVEL WRITING TRIBE

Praise for STEALING WITH THE EYES

A beautifully written evocation of a journey into the village communities of eastern Indonesia, and a remarkable meditation on the uneasy business of travelling to foreign lands in search of stories.

Birmingham Post

Birmingham Post

Review of THE SNORGH AND THE SAILOR

Simply written, with a subtleness that adds sophistication to a picture book, Buckingham has shown that he has a tender touch… There is just a hint of poignancy in this beautifully illustrated book… It’s a book to treasure.

David Chapman

David Chapman

Review of FINDING OUR SEA-LEGS

The book is unconventional in form: written in colloquial English with little jargon. It tells many stories: about talking fish, million-year-old princesses, and the need to lower your mast as you near the horizon, lest your boat get stuck between the sky and the sea. _Finding our Sea-Legs_ is also unconventional in content. It is one of very few books about a key problem in contemporary philosophy: the tension between the urgency of ethics and their inherent ambiguity.

Ethical Perspectives

Ethical Perspectives

Review of LEVINAS, STORYTELLING, AND ANTI-STORYTELLING

An enthusiastic, vivacious and daring contribution to the dialogue between ethics and literature, and between philosophy as broader discipline and literary studies.