Walls Book Update

I am still working on my walls book. Those who have been following my blog already know I’ve spent much of the last two years abroad conducting research for the book. So far I’ve visited Algeria, Morocco, the Western Sahara, Ceuta and Melilla, northeast India, Kashmir, Israel, Palestine and Cyprus. Starting in mid-August I will begin a ten-month residency at the University of Calgary to try to turn my stacks of illegible travel journals into something resembling a first draft.

My original idea for this book had me covering walls and barriers in about a dozen different countries and territories around the world. Lately I’ve come to the realization that this was, perhaps, rather too ambitious. There is some concern about whether I can manage a narrative line that links all of these diverse places. I don’t want to write a series of postcards. I want to write a story.

So, I am going to simplify my intentions. Aside from a return to Kashmir (my time there last November was too brief) and a visit to the U.S.-Mexico border, I will focus the ‘walls’ book on the places I’ve already been. I am excited, and honoured, to have the time and space offered by my residency to get this done.