Stories

In addition to my copywriting work, I sometimes publish travel sketches, journalistic dispatches, and short stories. Here are a few of them.

 
 Three Nepali men build a new stone house in Langtang Valley, November 2016

Outpost Magazine
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A Valley Rebuilds: The Second Life of Langtang Village

When you walk up Langtang Valley, near Nepal’s border with Tibet, the strange appearance of the pine trees catches your attention . . . 

 Three colourful, traditional Bulgarian houses in the Revival style, in the town of Plovdiv

CNN
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Plovdiv: Bulgaria's Hidden Treasure

Bulgaria's Plovdiv remains relatively unknown to most travelers, but it's beginning to appear on more and more Balkan itineraries -- and for good reason . . . 

 A country lane winds its way through daisy-spangled fields and little wooden farm sheds near Mittenwald, Germany

Matador Network
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The Lost Art of Reckless Travel

IN 1933, eighteen-year-old Patrick Leigh Fermor faced an uncertain future. His school career had been riotous but undecorated. His wild temperament was, in his own words, ‘unfitted for the faintest shadow of constraint.’ . . . 

 
 A young Christopher Hitchens, dressed in a light-coloured suit, stands outside the offices of New Statesman magazine in 1970s London

Huffington Post
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The Persistent Appeal of Christopher Hitchens

I don’t stand among the ranks of journalists and editors who knew Christopher Hitchens personally and could boast of his company, which was by almost all accounts awe-inspiring, or his friendship, which seems to have been unusually warm-hearted and expansive . . .

 Donald Trump, holding a rally in Dallas, raises his arm to wave to a crowd of banner-waving and cheering spectators

Medium.com
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What We Fight Against

The Romans of the late second century, as they mourned for Marcus Aurelius and beheld the new era of Commodus, probably felt something like what many of us feel now. This wasn’t supposed to happen . . .

 A rugged road traverses mountainous countryside near Ushguli, Georgia. A rickety wooden fence is lit by the evening sunlight.

Sunday Star Times
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Rugby and Feijoas . . . In the Caucasus

The man with the physique of a heavyweight wrestler gazed admiringly at my own distinctly average frame.

"You must be a strong man," he rumbled with approval. "New Zealand has very strong men." . . .

 
 Smoke rises moodily from an otherwise empty and outstretched hand

Jerry Jazz Musician
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Speakeasy (a story)

I was recently at a speakeasy in Tbilisi, drinking wine and tapping my foot in time with a jazz quartet, when I noticed a dishevelled French magician approach the mysterious black-haired girl I’d had my eye on for the past ten minutes . . . 

 Primo Levi as a bearded old man, with spectacles on his forehead, glances sideways with a melancholy air.

Medium.com
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Why Read Primo Levi Today?

In 1987, at the age of sixty-seven, Italian writer and chemist Primo Levi fell to his death from the third floor of his apartment building in Turin. Nearly every article about him begins with this fact, then weighs up the two arguments— was it an accident or a suicide? . . .