Art Of Conversation came out of a crisis. I was living in Mexico, struggling to learn the language and to explain what I was doing there. I told myself I was a writer, so I wrote. I wrote about every book I read and movie I watched, because I had few opportunities to talk about those things in my native tongue. Eventually, I realised I was trying to explain (to myself as much as to anyone else) what I was doing in life, who I was and who I wanted to be, what I believed in and valued.
I learned that, just like our tastes in music, literature, cinema, and art, the answers to all those questions can change. Just like our appreciation of the arts, our understanding of ourselves and our world can deepen. And it is through culture that this happens.
Art Of Conversation publishes essays on culture that explore ways of living meaningful lives. We introduce literature and cinema to philosophy and science, blend pop culture and high culture, and mix the contemporary with the classics. Art Of Conversation seeks to turn ideas into identity and culture into community.
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Perpetual Spoiler Warning: Art Of Conversation does deep-dives on culture, so it's a good idea to assume that if a book or movie is featured in an essay, we will be talking about it in detail.
I grew up in Canada and England, then spent most of my twenties working as a bookseller. In between shelving books and arguing about whether du Maurier belongs under “D” or “M”, I read a lot as a way of learning how to write well.
Now, I'm slowly exploring the world and (much less slowly) working on a novel. Having lived in Mexico, I am currently writing from the UK and making my way around Europe. My first collection of short stories, “Burn the Pages”, was followed by an extended essay called “The Future of Fictions”.
An argument for and against tradition
"Burn the Pages" is an extended exploration of Greek mythology, music, and well-aged scotch. These stories look for meaning in the commonplace and feature a variety of voices with stories to tell.
"The Future of Fictions" draws on literature, philosophy, and religion, from the Beat poets to the Occupy movement to fundamentalism, to ask: When should we keep tradition, and when should we tear it down?