Matthew Clayfield is a journalist, critic and screenwriter.


Forty years after the fall of Saigon, a visit to Ho Chi Minh City’s war museum

Has it really been forty years since there wasn’t enough room on the last chopper out? The streets of Ho Chi Minh City are, if not exactly festooned, then at least rather heavily decorated with […]


Island destinations where your heart and stomach sink

As they said of Rick’s in Casablanca, everybody comes to the Obsidian. And, as at Rick’s, they run the gamut: German climatologists, Italian game fishermen, Australian teachers who work on the Falklands, Belgian authors, Scottish […]

Vietnamese Diary

I had been loitering around some dreadlocked types, working up the courage to join the conversation, when the people smuggler sat down next to me. Actually, that might not be an entirely fair description: Lanh, […]

Mar, 07

Taking a punt in London and Essex

“The Grand National,” I was told on the morning of Britain’s famous steeplechase, “is a forty-nag slaughter-circus.” This sounded like hyperbole to me. But my friend continued: “Be sure to place a bet.” “I don’t […]

Mar, 01

Why you should travel beyond Victoria’s Great Ocean Road

Driving from Melbourne, the Great Ocean Road comes to an end just short of Warrnambool. But for those who have a little more driving in them—or a lot more—there are plenty of reasons to push […]

Feb, 21

Jailhouse screeds by Fallada and Negri

The tradition of prison literature goes back a long way and can be roughly divided into two sub-genres: books written after the fact—Dostoevsky’s The House of the Dead, Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago, Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom—and those […]

Feb, 21

Kobane: How we failed the Kurds

The men at the Can Diyarbakir ticket desk in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, eyed the lapel of my filthy white shirt with a mix of admiration and concern. “We appreciate it very much,” […]

Jan, 28

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