Singapore Red in Katong

A lonely copy of my 2017 novel Singapore Red was spotted in the Popular Bookstore in Parkway Parade, in the perpetually hip and smart Katong neighborhood on Singapore’s east coast.

The publisher now lists these paperbacks as out-of-print, so all of you should run as fast as you can to Popular right now and buy this last copy BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!!!


New Black Scat fundraising drive

Black Scat, an independent publisher based in the US (and who has featured some of my work) is having a fundraising drive. Launched in 2012,  Black Scat Books not boasts 37 titles in the Absurdist series, as well as many full length novels, short fiction collections, visual art, plays, and various anthologies, as well as  numerous works in translation, including 10 titles by the great French humorist Alphonse Allais — all first publications in English! In addition they issue a free monthly digital magazine, Le Scat Noir.

Support independent publishing…check out the link here and give a little back to Scat:

New TWSC single out now!

In advance of the coming release of the next TWSC album ‘Flowers’, BitPulse Records has released a new single for streaming.

Check out the awesome sounds of ‘Raquel’ by streaming it at Apple, Amazon, or Spotify…

The full album will digital drop at the end of August. Stay tuned…

Raquez at Revue Indochinoise: New article in Bulletin de l’École française d’Extrême-Orient

I am honored that my article “Alfred Raquez’s Roles as Author and Editor of La Revue Indochinoise” will be published in the venerable Bulletin de l’École française d’Extrême-Orient.

BEFEO capture

My article will appear in the 104th issue of the Bulletin, and its publication makes strange loops in the history of the journal.

Raquez’s second book, Pages Laotiennes, was received a favorable review in the very first issue of the Bulletin, in 1901, by one of the founding figures of the École française d’Extrême-Orient, Louis Finot. The Bulletin, as well as Raquez’s second book and the Revue Indochinoise which he was editorial director from 1904 to 1906, were all published by the same man, F.H. Schneider. Raquez was named a ‘member correspondent’ of the EFEO in 1906.

I’m pleased that my research has brought Raquez’s long-neglected contributions back into current of the EFEO.

Find out how to get your copy of issue 104 here:

Here’s Raquez’s message to readers in 1904 when he assumed the role of Editorial Director:

Alfred Raquez in Phnom Penh III

I am very pleased that our translation of Alfred Raquez’s visit to Phnom Penh in 1898 is now online at The Mekong Review, along with an in-depth introduction. Check it out!


The Fenton in Leeds

Back in the days of my postgrad lounging around, we all used to gather at The Fenton pub near campus to discuss the problems of the world and get bombed.

This article [] in The Guardian contextualizes The Fenton’s signature role in creating a gritty post-punk, Northern-based pop sound in 1970s Britain.

It makes all the time and money I spent getting soused there twenty years later seem totally worth it!

Laotian Pages in PHILAO

The good people at PHILAO: Bulletin de l’Association Internationale des Collectionneurs de Timbres‐poste du Laos have been strong supporters of my work on Alfred Raquez since I started, and now they have kindly published a long promotion (in English) in the latest issue of my new scholarly translation with Paul Bruthiaux of Raquez’s Pages Laotiennes.

Here is the transcription:

My colleague Paul Bruthiaux and I are proud to announce to PHILAO readers the second in our series of scholarly translations of the writing of Alfred Raquez. Published by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies Press, our translation of Pages Laotiennes follows our 2017 translation of Au Pays des Pagodes, which the South China Morning Post called “an impressive academic update and required reading for anyone with a connection to China.” We follow the same high standards with our translation of Raquez’s travels through Laos.

As Raquez’s best known work, Pages Laotiennes presents unique difficulties for research and translation. The existing translation, misleadingly titled Around Laos in 1900: A Photographer’s Adventures, is prone to error, and we felt a new appreciation was needed. Our Laotian Pages features a 50,000-word introduction and hundreds of annotations that build on the scholarship presented in In the Land of Pagodas, offering fresh insight into the life and times of the author.

Raquez’s peers considered him a first-rate author. In addition to the book-length works, he penned many hundreds of articles for the Hanoi-based L’Avenir du Tonkin and La Revue Indochinoise (for which he was editorial director from 1904), and many dozens of articles in France for La Dépêche Coloniale and its sister publication, La Dépêche Coloniale Illustrée, among others. He was also admired as an explorer and granted an interview to the prestigious Le Globe Trotter Journal Illustreé in 1906.

Despite the rarity and volume of this work—consisting of thousands of pages—a key part of our research has been to track down all Raquez’s publications, interviews, and obituaries. We discovered that like Pages Laotiennes, his journalism often takes the form of personal travel diaries, and it was this work that his peers most admired. They also offer clues to his relationships and activities in Indochina that have long puzzled fans.

Raquez offers a unique voice in the annals of French Indochina, a blend of fin-de-siècle flâneur and political hack, a man who charmed his way into the upper echelons of the colonial political machine yet retained his idiosyncratic writing style, bringing the sensibility of Montmartre to descriptions of the Far East. The writer Jean Ajalbert, whom met Raquez at the 1902 Hanoi Exposition, recalled Raquez as a “humorous writer, a jovial epicurean and lover of travel and artistic erudition,” traits that we strive to preserve in our translations.

Our new translation introduces this voice to an Anglophone audience while preserving and contextualizing it for a Francophone one. Readers already familiar with Alfred Raquez will discover fascinating new information about him and the French Orient during the late Belle Époque.

Laotian Pages features all 310 original illustrations and presents 13 maps of Raquez’s trail from Yokohama, overland through Laos, and down the Mekong to Phnom Penh.

It is  available now from NIAS Press:






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