I am the author of twelve books—from novels to travelogues to children’s books. My current work in progress, Hello, Stranger: How We Find Connection in a Disconnected World will be due out from Granta in the middle of 2021.

Nonfiction Books

I love nonfiction that explores hidden corners of the world and of the imagination.

My nonfiction books range from travel-writing to philosophy. I’ve published books on witchcraft and magic in East Indonesia, on how it’s impossible to think about ethics without thinking about stories, on the rich variety of philosophical approaches to happiness, and on the art of novel-writing.

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.

— Times Literary Supplement on ‘Stealing With the Eyes’

A philosophy book about stories, ethics and sea-voyages. Published by Kingston University Press 2009, reissued by Wind&Bones in 2019.

A memoir, a travel book, and a tale of witches, anthropologists, pearl smugglers, and other strange individuals. Published by Haus Publications, 2018.

A Practical Guide to Happiness: Think Deeply and Flourish

My quick and breezy guide to the philosophies of happiness from Zhuangzi to positive psychology. Published by Icon Books in 2012/18.

A book about museums, children and philosophy. The manuscript was written the late, great Elee Kirk, and I was responsible for completing the book after her death. Routledge 2018.

A guide for novelists, covering everything from first drafts to keeping sane. Published in the Teach Yourself series, 2014.

Levinas, Storytelling and Anti-Storytelling

My philosophy book about the ethical force of telling and untelling stories. This one was published by Bloomsbury in 2013.

Fiction Books

I write fiction for adults and children. My books often engage with the places where myths, stories and philosophies meet.

I’ve written stories based on the Chinese Book of Changes, retellings of Greek Myth, science-fiction speculations about time dilation and friendship for middle-grade readers, picture books, creature capers set in the outer islands of Indonesia, and re-imaginings of the tale of Orpheus transposed to 19th Century Bulgaria.

History, scholarship and finely honed literary skills combine to produce a minor masterpiece.

— Creative Transformations Asia Blog on ‘Sixty-Four Chance Pieces’

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

— Louis de Bernières on ‘The Descent of the Lyre’

A story about a girl, her dog, and the here, there and everywhereness of space. Published by Knopf in 2018. Also in Korean!

A retelling of the myth of Apollo and Marsyas: a legendary tale of brutality, art and rebellion. Published by Roman Books in 2015.

A cycle of short stories based on the Chinese book of changes: a riot of gods, mad uncles, diviners and fox spirts. Published by Earnshaw Books in 2015.

The Snorgh and the Sailor

A tale about friendship, adventures and how to overcome a bad mood. Illustrated by Tom Docherty, and published by Scholastic in 2012. Available in multiple translations.

The Descent of the Lyre

An award-shortlisted myth about music, banditry and religion, set in the mountains of Bulgaria in the 19th Century. Roman Books 2012, and published in Bulgarian in 2014.

Cargo Fever

A novel about gods, beasts and human beings, and the blurred boundaries between all three. Tindal Street Press, 2008.


I’ve also contributed to anthologies of fiction and nonfiction, academic works, and popular philosophy books. I regularly consult for publishers on works of philosophy written for a general market.

Here are just a few of the volumes to which I have contributed.

“Buckingham’s essay is intriguing… he warns of wonder’s risks: that regarding only certain things with wonder risks apathy towards everything…

— Review of Wonder in Contemporary Artistic Practice, in “Object Journal.”

I wrote a chapter on the Chinese medieval writer Liu Xie 劉勰 in Karyn Lai and co.’s excellent Cultivating a Good Life in Early Chinese and Ancient Greek Philosophy. Published by Bloomsbury in 2019.

Wonder in Contemporary Artistic Practice

I had a lot of fun writing a wildly speculative chapter in Brown and Mieves’s book Wonder in Contemporary Artistic Practice, drawing on the ancient Chinese scholar and collector of strange tales, Guo Pu 郭璞.

I was consultant editor and contributor to Dorling Kindersley’s book Philosophers: Their Lives and Works.

In Fiction we Trust
In Fiction we Trust

I wrote a piece on Emmanuel Levinas called ‘Lies in Which Not Everything is False’ for a 2013 volume of essays about about fiction, lies and truth. Published in Romanian.

Overheard ed. Jonathan Taylor

I have a short story in this collection edited by novelist, poet and memoir-writer Jonathan Taylor. My contribution, ‘The Lake’, is about an enthusiastic nude bather. The collection is published by Salt, and dates from around 2012.

The Philosophy Book

I wrote the chapters on modern and contemporary philosophy in Dorling Kindersley’s global bestseller, The Philosophy Book. It’s available in pretty much any major language you can think of.

Utopia, Five Leaves Publications, ed. Ross Bradshaw

My piece on ‘The Trouble with Happiness’ was published in this brilliant collection from Five Leaves publishing, some time around 2012.

Lowestoft Chronicle

In a coffee shop, in the city of Baoji, China, I met a man who claimed to be an alien. I didn’t believe him. But this is the story of our encounter was anthologised by the excellent Lowestoft Chronicle.

I was consultant editor for DK’s lovely-looking Philosophy: A Visual Encyclopedia, a guide to philosophical questions and perplexities for readers aged 11 and up.

The best place to buy my in-print books online is at in the UK and US, to support your local bookstore..

Due to distribution, not everything I’ve written is available in the US, so you may need to track down a few titles elsewhere.

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