I write books: fiction, nonfiction, children’s writing—anything that intrigues or fascinates me. My books are listed below. You can click on the cover to find out more.
I write articles and journalistic pieces here there and everywhere. You can find my work on BBC Travel, in Aeon magazine, in Heated Magazine, in the Southeast Asia Globe, and in lots of other places too. My blog page is a good place to go for recent publications.
I’ve also written academic papers and articles here and there. But they’re less fun than the books, so I’ve not linked to them. A Google Scholar search should turn up a few nuggets.
Nonfiction, travel and philosophy
Stealing With the Eyes: Imaginings and Incantations in Indonesia.
Art and anthropology… witchcraft and folk-medicine… A journey in East Indonesia, and a story of unpaid debts. Published by Haus Publications in 2018.
A Practical Guide to Happiness: Think Deeply and Flourish
A book about philosophy and well-being, first published by Icon Books in 2012, reissued in a handsome new edition 2018.
Finding Our Sea-Legs: Ethics, Experience and the Ocean of Stories
A curious philosophy book about ethics and storytelling, via tales of woodpeckers, drunken gods, sea voyagers, and talking fish. First published in 2009 by Kingston University Press. Reissued by Wind&Bones in 2019.
The Philosophy Book
Dorling Kindersley’s global bestseller. I wrote all the chapters on contemporary and modern philosophy: in other words, from Nietzsche to Žižek. First published in 2010. Translated into loads of different languages. I’ve lost count.
Snapshots of Museum Experience (Elee Kirk & Will Buckingham)
I edited and completed Dr. Elee Kirk’s posthumous magnum opus. A brilliant book about photography, childhood studies, and museums. Written with her trademark charm and wit. Published by Routledge in 2017.
Levinas, Stortyelling and Anti-Storytelling
A study of the philosohper Emmanuel Levinas, looking at his philosophical critique of storytelling, and attempting a storytelling critique of his philosophy. Published by Bloomsbury in 2014.
Fiction, children’s books, and writing guides
Lucy and the Rocket Dog
My middle-grade story about a girl-inventor, Lucy, and her dog Laika. It is about space, science, friendship, time-dilation, and the here, there and everywhereness of space. Also in Korean!
A reinvention of the story of Apollo and Marsyas. I wrote this as a kind of satyr-play, reinvented in novel form. It’s a tale of myth, music, violence and power. Published in 2015 by Earnshaw Books.
Sixty-Four Chance Pieces: A Book of Changes
A novel in sixty-four stories, sitting somewhere between fiction, nonfiction, travel-writing and philosophy. The stories are basd on the Chinese Book of Changes. It is perhaps my strangest book, but also one of my favourites. Published in 2015 by Earnshaw Books.
Complete Write a Novel Course: Teach Yourself
Hachette asked me to write this guide for novelists. It’s a comprehensive guide for writers at all stages of their careers. As well as the usual things on plot, character and so on, it’s full of advice on staying sane, keeping afloat financially, and how publishing works. Published in 2014.
The Descent of the Lyre
A novel set in 19th century Bulgaria, about music, myth, banditry and religion. This one was shortlisted for the East Midlands Book Award. Translated into Bulgarian too. Published 2012 by Roman Books.
The Snorgh and the Sailor (with Thomas Docherty)
Oh, I love the Snorgh. He’s a grumpy, marsh-dwelling misanthrope, beautifully brought to life by Thomas Docherty. Published by Scholastic in 2012. Translated into various other languages.
A novel published by the long-lost Tindal Street Press. A creature caper set in the outer islands of Indonesia, about an international cryptozoology smuggling operation that goes badly wrong. Published 2007.
Cultivating a Good Life in Early Chinese and Ancient Greek Philosophy
I have a chapter in this fabulous collection edited by Karyn Lai, Hyun Jin Kim and Rick Benitez. The chapter is on the 5th and 6th century writer Liu Xie 劉勰 and writing as a way of nourishing life. The book was published by Bloomsbury in 2018.
Wonder in Contemporary Artistic Practice
had a lot of fun writing this wildly speculative chapter on the imperative to wonder, drawing on the ancient Chinese scholar and collector of strange tales, Guo Pu 郭璞. The chapter is called “Wonders Without Wonder: Divining the Donkey-Rat”, and the book is edited by Irene Brown and Christian Mieves, and was published by Routledge in 2017.
In Fiction We Trust
My only publication in Romanian, as far as I know. I wrote a chapter on Emmanuel Levinas for this 2013 volume of essays about fiction, lies and truth. The chapter was called ‘Lies in Which not Everything is False’. It has yet to be published in English.
Overheard: Stories to Read Aloud
I’m delighted to have a story in this collection edited by my good friend, novelist, poet and memoir-writer Jonathan Taylor. This is a collection of stories written to be read aloud. The story I have included in this collection is called “The Lake”, and involves an enthusiastic nude bather. The collection is published by Salt, and dates from around 2012.
I wrote a chapter on ‘The Trouble with Happiness’ for this brilliant collection from Five Leaves publishing. It was published some time around 2012.
Lowestoft Chronice 2012 Anthology.
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, anthologised by the excellent Lowestoft Chronice.