A new literary culture does not permeate in Nepal unless it comes bundled with flashing lights,, 2017

Are there any institutional support systems for writers?

Yes, Nepali language writers do get some support and validation from the Nepal Academy, though this is orientated towards the canon, as represented by the topi-wearing old school. This is not applicable to us for the moment. As for the government’s investing in Nepali writers in English, they’re hidebound. New culture does not permeate unless it comes bundled with flashing lights.

Intoxication, music, revelations: a conversation with Rabi Thapa on Thamel, The Record, 2017

In Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, he wrote, “You take delight not in a city’s seven or seventy wonders, but in the answer it gives to a question of yours.” Did Thamel give you any answers? If so, what was the question?

To me, Thamel is the answer to the question, “What the hell happened to this damned city? How did it go from A to Z in no time at all?” People come here, and they only see the surface of this place. There’s no coherence in Thamel when you look at it like that. That question, which I guess has been in my head with regard to Kathmandu as a whole, was answered by Thamel. As I said in the book as well, Thamel is this microcosm of Kathmandu, which is a microcosm of Nepal.

The Lounge Chair Interview, Kitaab, 2017

Who are your favorite authors?

Those I haven’t read – names I know, names I don’t know, names that haven’t seen the light of day. They represent the titillating totality of my ignorance.

The City and the Writer, in Kathmandu with Rabi Thapa, Words without Borders, 2011

Can you describe the mood of Kathmandu as you feel/see it?

The Kathmandu Valley is three medieval towns that have sprawled into each other in the last half-century. Depending on where you are, the mood is chaotic and very “Third World,” or tranquil as can be, even sublime. I see and feel the city through a prism of nostalgic appreciation, frustration, and qualified hope for its future regeneration.


Langtang’s Lost: An Oral History Of The Village That Vanished (La.Lit, April 2016)

Langtang the terrible, Langtang the beautiful (Himal Southasia April 2016)

An Oral History of Langtang, the Valley Destroyed by the Nepal Earthquake, with Anna Callaghan (Outside Online, September 2015)

In remote Nepal, only the mountains remain (Live Mint, June 2015)

Brick by brick (Himal Southasia, May 2015)

The view from up here (Cricket Monthly, May 2015)

Losing a city (Mumbai Mirror, April 2015)

Whose art is it anyway? (Nepali Times, August 2014)

Taking the Lo road in Mustang, Nepal (The National, May 2014)

In the thick of things: Chitwan National Park, Nepal (The National, December 2013)

In the dark (Himal Southasia, September 2011)

Writing in tongues (Himal Southasia, March 2011)

Fragrance of asafoetida (Himal Southasia, December 2010)

NWEs: a season to write (Himal Southasia, August 2010)

Gadhimai’s gauntlet (Himal Southasia, December 2009)

The Gift (Himal Southasia, October 2009)