Archive / Novels /The Impressionist

Dune 50 Years on (2015)

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Dune cover

It’s 50 years since the publication of Frank Herbert’s Dune. To celebrate the anniversary of one of the great SF novels, I wrote an essay for The Guardian about beach grass, Bedouin, Orientalism and why the spice must flow.

Book Club: WG Sebald's The Rings of Saturn

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On Wednesday 11th February, 7.30pm I'll be talking about WG Sebald's ruminative account of a walk along the Suffolk Coast, with Rick Moody, Dinaw Mengestu, and Denis O'Hare (not dressed as a vampire, presumably) reading an extract.  Details and tickets here

Understanding is the least we owe the dead (2015)

After the terrorist attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris, I wrote about my reaction for The Guardian.  

The Beautiful Reward is Freedom: Ursula Le Guin (2014)

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Ursula Le Guin


Last night (November 19th) Ursula Le Guin accepted the National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. 'I think hard times are coming', she said in her acceptance speech, ' when we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now and can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine some real grounds for hope. We will need writers who can remember freedom. Poets, visionaries—the realists of a larger reality.' She is such a writer, and earlier this year I was lucky enough to visit her at her Portland home. The profile I wrote for the Guardian is here. A full transcript of her speech is here and video is here.  'We who live by writing and publishing want—and should demand—our fair share of the proceeds,' she said last night. 'But the name of our beautiful reward is not profit. Its name is freedom.'

New York Times Podcast: Gods Without Men (2012)

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Salvation Mountain

I spoke to the New York Times Book Review about Gods Without Men. Listen here

Events: September/October 2014

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I'll be speaking at the following events in NYC

18th Sept  7pm: In conversation with Kamila Shamsie (A God In Every Stone) and Ken Chen of the Asian American Writers Workshop at McNally Jackson 

22nd Sept  7pm: How We Read Now: Join The Atavist, Atavist Books, and Graywolf Press for a celebration of several exciting new works, featuring readings by Chris Adrian (The New World), Vikram Chandra (Geek Sublime), Leslie Jamison (52 Blue), Hari Kunzru (Twice Upon a Time)  at Brooklyn Winery. Part of Brooklyn Book Festival 

10th Oct  10pm  Across The Pond with Hari Kunzru Tessa Hadley, Zadie Smith, Hanif Kureishi, moderated by Cressida Leyshon part of New Yorker Festival

Hope to see you.