I write fiction, philosophy and children’s books. My fiction tends to be somewhat philosophical, and my philosophy tends to be somewhat story-like. Some books end up in the middle of these two things. You can find out about my publications below. Clicking on the covers will take you to pages associated with the individual books.
If you’ve come to this page, you probably want to know about books and things. But I also write academically. You can find out more about my academic work on my research page.
Stealing with the Eyes. 2018. Published by Haus Publishing / The Armchair Traveller. A memoir of anthropology, sickness, witchcraft and unpaid debts, set in the Tanimbar Islands of Indonesia.
Levinas, Storytelling and Anti-Storytelling is a reading of Levinas in the light of the stories that he tells, and of storytelling in the light of Levinas’s thought. It was published by Bloomsbury Academic in 2013.
Finding Our Sea-Legs: Ethics, Experience and the Ocean of Stories. 2009. Published by Kingston University Press. A book about ethics and stories.
A Practical Guide to Happiness: Think Deeply and Flourish. Published by Icon / Totem Books in 2012 as Introducing Happiness, and reissued in a new (and far less yellow) edition in 2018. A brief and breezy introduction to various philosophies of happiness.
Snapshots of Museum Experience. By Elee Kirk & Will Buckingham 2018. Published by Routledge. By my former partner, the late Elee Kirk. After Elee’s death, I worked on revising and bringing to publication her book-length study of young children’s experiences in natural history museums.
The Philosophy Book. 2010. Published by Dorling Kindersley. I wrote everything in this book from Nietzsche to Žižek, via Husserl, Quine and Kristeva, amongst others. The book has been translated into pretty much every language you could imagine.
Goat Music. 2015. Roman Books. A re-invention of the tale of Apollo and Marsyas, a contemporary satyr play, and a fable about art, violence and political power.
Sixty-Four Chance Pieces. 2015. Earnshaw Books. A re-imagining of the enigmatic Chinese Book of Changes or Yijing (易經) through sixty-four stories that combine fiction, non-fiction, travel-writing and wayward philosophical speculation.
The Descent of the Lyre. 2012. Published by Roman Books. A novel about music and myth, following in the footsteps of Orpheus, set in 19th Century Bulgaria and Paris.
Cargo Fever. 2007. Published by Tindal Street Press. A novel set in Indonesia about gods, human beings and monsters.
Cultivation in Early China and Ancient Greece.
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.
Wonder in Contemporary Artistic Practice.
I 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.
In Fiction we Trust.
My debut in Romanian language! My chapter in this book, “Levinas, filozofie si fictiune” is about Levinas and narrative. The original title was “Lies in Which Not Everything is False”, which I quite liked, although it apparently caused all kind of translation problems.
Overheard: Stories for Reading 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. It was later included as a part of my Yijing-based collection, Sixty-Four Chance Pieces: A Book of Changes
Utopia. This volume on Utopia was the second annual collection of essays from Five Leaves Press, edited by Ross Bradshaw. I’ve a not-quite-utopian essay in this one called “The Trouble with Happiness”
The Lowestoft Chronicle.
I have a short (true) story in this one about a meeting with an alien in the city of Baoji 寶雞 in China. This is another story that found its way into my Sixty-Four Chance Pieces.