As research for a travel book about India and Nepal, I’m reading a whole bunch. I figure I might as well post some short reviews of these books as I finish them.

Conrad, Joseph, Heart of Darkness (1899)

I first read Heart of Darkness in high school and didn’t get…

It’s a new year, our third of the pandemic. I’ve never been one for new year’s resolutions, and things are about as unresolved as we’ve ever known them. Still, it’s worth reflecting on where I hope this year will take me.

Working on my book is my big personal goal…

Today marks twenty years since I first arrived in South Korea, knowing next to nothing about the place. My main purpose was to live abroad for a year anywhere that would pay me enough that I could then go traveling in India and Nepal.

Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity.

William Wordsworth, Lyrical Ballads

Tranquility

Some years ago, I took up traditional Korean dance for a while. At the start, it was just me and my teacher and these three old ladies, all of…

Most people don’t know this about me, but I was an award-winning rapper way back when. I was recognized for my rap game before Native Tongues, before Colors, before N.W.A. or “Boyz-n-the-Hood.” I have a certain claim to having been there early, if not actually at the beginning.

That I…

Nearly twenty years ago, I came to Korea to teach English at an after-school academy. As a starting teacher, I got 2.1 million won a month and a place to live. Astonishingly, this is still exactly what new teachers get. The exchange rate has hardly budged for decades, always hovering…

Books that make the high school canon enter a kind of purgatory. They never go out of print, but they’re forever read by the wrong people. When F. Scott Fitzgerald was writing about fraying marriages in the Jazz Age, or when Ernest Hemingway was writing about war and impotence and…

Josh Philip Ross

UX writer at Samsung in Seoul, formerly at Google in NYC. Husband, dad, expat. http://www.joshphilipross.com/

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