Nicholas Lezard is a literary critic for the Guardian and also writes for the Independent. He writes the Down and Out in London column for the New Statesman.
Second-Hand Stories by Josh Spero follows the author as he tracks down the previous owners of his books.
At one point someone put an arm around me and said, “This man is clearly an expat-in-waiting.” I take that as a compliment.
I am well aware that I am being pathetic.
Murmur murmur murmur, they go. Whisper whisper whisper. They are just five feet from me. I have to act.
I have to isolate which aspect of my behaviour it is that is causing me to fall so ill, so frequently. Surely it can have nothing to do with my wine consumption. That is crazy talk.
The BBC call me up for a comment on flat-sharing as an adult man, and I start brooding.
The bank is now closing for refurbishment. Whether it will be demolishing its secret garden, I do not know – but I know where my money would be if I were a betting man.
“Have you played GeoGuessr, Dad?” the eldest asked.
You can’t have a Wonderpass with a big lake of piss in the middle of it and half the lights not working.
You do not see men my age serving people any more - unless it is in the haberdashery department of John Lewis.
Across the political spectrum, the New Statesman introduces you to the personalities who shape our world. Where else would you find Jeremy Corbyn, Tony Blair and Theresa May in the same place?