My journalism has appeared in the New York Times, New York Times Magazine, the Globe and Mail, Harper’s, The Times of London, the Independent, Newsweek, New Statesman, the Vancouver Sun, Toronto Star, and many other venues. My writing has been featured on BBC Four, NPR and CBC National Radio. I’ve written more than 300 articles for the Guardian. (Most of them are short). Below is a partial list.
Guardian Weekend magazine:
Literary Review of Canada:
Literary Review of Canada:
With the help of the designers at WeTransfer, I was able to tell the story of a woman whose daughter was killed in a mass shooting in Utah. Throughout the piece, readers are given the chance to opt out when the material becomes too challenging. Artwork was provided by Jason Logan of the Toronto Ink Company.
I review books for the New York Times Book Review.
Ecstasy and Terror by Daniel Mendelsohn.
The Patch by John McPhee.
A Long Way From Home by Peter Carey.
The World to Come by Jim Shepard.
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles.
The Blue Guitar by John Banville.
All the Old Knives by Olen Steinhauer.
My first cover story for the New York Times Magazine appeared in March, 2012. I commented on the changing social makeup of London during its Olympic year. I’ve written many other articles for the Times, including a piece on a skyscraper escape device, an interview with a human shield in Iraq and, going back to 2001, an interview with an ethical video game developer.
My first Guardian Weekend cover story appeared back in November 2002 when I travelled to Huddersfield to investigate the changing British high street. For another feature I spent time with a few crime scene investigators, from the diver who searches for clues to the forensic specialist who identifies flecks of paint and the handwriting expert who examines the documents left behind.
I review books for the Guardian Review.
At the Stranger's Gate by Adam Gopnik.
Floating City by Sudhir Venkatesh.
The Tunnel Through Time: A New Route for an Old London Journey by Gillian Tindall.
The peace campaigner Brian Haw died in 2011. I wrote about Brian back in 2002, after spending twenty-four hours with him on the pavements of Parliament Square. I also wrote his obituary for the paper.
I used to write a column for the Guardian called ‘Take Ten’ (not my choice of title) in which I interviewed, for instance, ten butchers, ten tall people, ten market workers. The photos were taken by the talented Barry Lewis. Most of the columns online don’t have photos attached, which sort of defeats the purpose of the column, but a few have photos, including the time I interviewed ten erotic enthusiasts and ten funeral workers. Some of these interviewees ended up in Londoners.
I wrote a column called ‘Are You Happy?’ for a while, and again found it was a good way of finding interesting people. Spencer Lee, a crematorium technician, ended up in Londoners.
My column, ‘One Million Tiny Plays About Britain’, was published in the Guardian Weekend magazine from 30 September, 2006 to 21 November, 2008.
A few of the tiny plays appeared on the McSweeney’s website.
I was asked to sum up my year of reading for the Globe and Mail, which gave me the opportunity to discuss Karl Ove Knausgaard, Javier Marias, Cesar Aira and Ali Smith.
The Globe and Mail commissioned me to write nine essays on my rediscovery of Canadian literature. This gave me the chance, in the first essay, to reflect on the idea of the bookshelf as national self-portrait. I also got a chance to apologize to Mavis Gallant.