One Hundred Diaries

Around the world in the LRB Archive

The first LRB Diary appeared in our 4 March 1982 issue, and saw A.J.P. Taylor writing about nuclear disarmament. Taylor’s contributor’s note explained that the piece ‘inaugurates a regular feature of the paper. The Diaries will be by various hands. Clive James’s will scan.’

In the intervening years, we’ve published close to 900 Diaries by almost as many different writers, from LRB regulars to one-off contributors. Perhaps the most striking aspect of the Diaries, though, is their geographical range. The page quickly became a space for accounts of events from all over the world, both serious and frivolous, sometimes written by resident experts, sometimes by contributors exploring a new country, city or landscape for the first time. In its first decades it would find room for reports from an Eskimo village in Alaska and a lighthouse on Tasmania.

To celebrate the global breadth of the LRB Diary page, we’ve plotted 100 of them on an interactive map, for (mostly de-paywalled) browsing. The selection is based on a few factors: most are from the last 20 years, and some reflect the emphases of recent history (from Kabul and Baghdad to Athens and San Francisco); others have been included to maximise the spread across themes, contributors and continents. Featured contributors include Tariq Ali, Perry Anderson, Mary Beard, Jenny Diski, Eric Hobsbawm, Edward Luttwak, Hilary Mantel, Pankaj Mishra, Edward Said, Elaine Showalter, Rebecca Solnit, Rory Stewart and Colm Tóibín.

Harar, EthiopiaCharles Nicholl, March 2000
Chivhu, ZimbabweR.W. Johnson, May 2001
Kaduna, NigeriaAdewale Maja-Pearce, December 2002
Tolagnaro, MadagascarAlison Jolly, January 2003
Banjul, GambiaRose George, June 2005
Blantyre, MalawiAndrew O'Hagan, March 2006
Tripoli, LibyaTariq Ali, March 2006
Kilo, Democratic Republic of CongoAnneke Van Woudenberg, October 2006
Hammamet, TunisiaMary Beard, December 2006
Luanda, AngolaChristopher Thompson, January 2007
Mbandaka, Democratic Republic of CongoMichel Lechat, August 2007
Cape Town, South AfricaJenny Diski, July 2008
Freetown, Sierra LeoneMaya Jasanoff, September 2008
Mogadishu, SomaliaGhaith Abdul-Ahad, November 2011
Alexandria, EgyptAdam Shatz, July 2012
N'Djamena, ChadStephen W. Smith, July 2014
Monrovia, LiberiaPaul Farmer, October 2014
Lethbridge, Canada Elaine Showalter, March 1994
Trindad, BoliviaEdward Luttwak, April 1997
Buenos Aires, ArgentinaMichael Wood, November 2003
Valparaiso, ChileStephen Sedley, June 2004
Cali, ColombiaMichael Taussig, October 2006
Mexico City, MexicoRuben Gallo, January 2007
Caracas, VenezuelaTariq Ali, June 2007
Ilulissat, GreenlandNeal Ascherson, October 2007
Asuncion, ParaguayRichard Gott, February 2008
Cachora, PeruJudith Baker & Ian Hacking, September 2009
San Salvador, El SalvadorBen Ehrenreich, June 2010
Guantanamo Bay, CubaMohammed el Gorani, December 2011
Port-au-Prince, HaitiPooja Bhatia, March 2012
Havana, CubaGary Indiana, May 2013
Soufriere, St LuciaTim Dee, May 2014
Fairbanks, Alaska, USATom Lowenstein, February 1989
Las Vegas, Nevada, USAJames Lasdun, March 2004
Austin, Texas, USABenjamin Markovits, September 2005
New Orleans, Louisiana, USARebecca Solnit, August 2010
Durham, New Hampshire, USACharles Simic, January 2011
Brooklyn, New York, USAPeter Pomerantsev, September 2012
Falfurrias, Texas, USATom Stevenson, November 2015
Black Rock Desert, Nevada, USAEmily Witt, July 2014
San Franciso, California, USAAugust Kleinzahler, August 2002
David Thomson, March 2009
Rebecca Solnit, February 2013
Canberra, AustraliaKarl Miller, June 1987
Tahiti, French PolynesiaMel Kernahan, October 1995
Melbourne, AustraliaPeter Craven, November 1995
Tasmania, AustraliaPeter Hill, June 1996
Irian Jaya, IndonesiaRory Stewart, July 2000
Christchurch, New ZealandJenny Diski, August 2004
Port MacDonnell, AustraliaTom Nairn, November 2004
Dandong, ChinaJon Cannon, August 2000
Khabarovsk, SiberiaM.F. Burnyeat, February 2004
Chengdu, ChinaEliot Weinberger, September 2005
Shanghai, ChinaPankaj Mishra, November 2006
Colombo, Sri LankaAlan Strathern, November 2007
Kathmandu, NepalManjushree Thapa, May 2008
Yangon, BurmaJosh Kurlantzick, August 2010
Yakutsk, SiberiaTony Wood, September 2010
Calcutta, IndiaAmit Chaudhuri, May 2011
Pyongyang, North KoreaTariq Ali, January 2012
Otsuchi, JapanRebecca Solnit, May 2012
Andijan, UzbekistanAnna Neistat, July 2015
Barcelona, SpainColm Toibin, January 1994
Belgrade, SerbiaVesna Goldsworthy, February 2000
Palermo, SicilyJoseph Farrell, December 2000
Tromso, NorwayJoanna Kavenna, October 2002
Monarch Isles, ScotlandKathleen Jamie, August 2003
Kiev, UkraineDavid Craig, September 2003
Bled, SloveniaPamela Thomas, October 2005
Grozny, ChechnyaThomas de Waal, November 2005
Berlin, GermanyEric Hobsbawn, January 2008
Chisinau, MoldovaJonathan Steele, May 2009
Cookstown, Northern IrelandNick Laird, July 2011
Moscow, RussiaPeter Pomerantsev, December 2013
Nantes, FrancePerry Anderson, January 2014
Odessa, UkraineKeith Gessen, April 2014
London, EnglandIain Sinclair, September 2015
Athens, GreeceJames Meek, December 2011
Alexander Clapp, December 2014
Tariq Ali, July 2015
Jeddah, Saudi ArabiaHilary Mantel, March 1989
Hebron, PalestineEdward Said, April 1994
Tehran, IranChristopher de Bellaigue, July 2001
Lake Ormieh, IranRory Stewart, September 2001
Sulaymaniyah, KurdistanJason Burke, September 2002
Damascus, SyriaLayla Al-Zubaidi, May 2012
Beirut, LebanonTom Carver, October 2012
Sanaa, YemenGhaith Abdul-Ahad, May 2015
Ramallah, PalestineRaja Shehadeh, July 2002
Yitzhak Laor, October 2002
Jeremy Harding, August 2011
Kabul, AfghanistanJason Burke, March 2001
Anatol Lieven, April 2002
Christian Parenti, January 2005
Lahore, PakistanJohn Welch, September 1999
Tariq Ali, June 2003
Owen Bennett-Jones, September 2008
Baghdad, IraqPatrick Cockburn, May 2004
Patrick Cockburn, April 2006
McGuire Gibson, January 2009