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.