I am a writer currently based in Yangon. I have previously been Reader in Writing and Creativity in the School of Humanities at De Montfort University, visiting Professor of Humanities and Global Cultures at the Parami Institute, Yangon, Myanmar, and Visiting Associate Professor in the College of Literature and Journalism at Sichuan University, China. I write fiction, philosophy, creative non-fiction and for children (see my writing page)
I have a degree in Fine Arts from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (1994), a Masters degree in anthropology from Durham (1997) and a PhD in philosophy from Staffordshire University (2007). I started writing fiction seriously I was in the Tanimbar islands in Indonesia, where I was undertaking research into indigenous traditions and economies of art. The Tanimbar islands were rich in stories; and so, one rainy afternoon, I sat in front of a battered old manual typewriter, and started to write stories of my own.
My PhD in philosophy, which explored amongst other things ethics, storytelling and the curious ways of obscure Indonesian gods, was completed in 2007. Meanwhile, my first novel, which drew heavily on my experience in Indonesia, was published by Tindal Street Press. Since then, I’ve published three or four philosophy books, a few more novels, a children’s picture book, a middle-grade novel and a travel memoir of Indonesia.
These days, I continue to work on various literary and philosophical projects (find out more on my writing page), continuing to explore the places where stories, philosophy and life meet, and where it seems that the question “what does it mean to be at human?” is at stake.