Welcome to the personal website of writer, editor and University of Portsmouth senior lecturer Dr Tom Sykes. From satire to short fiction, reportage to travel narrative, here’s a stash of stuff I’ve published in media all over the place including The Telegraph, Private Eye, New Statesman, The Scotsman, New Internationalist, Red Pepper, New African and The Philippine Free Press…
Buy my latest book, Imagining Manila: Literature, Empire and Orientalism, here.
Praise for my previous book, The Realm of the Punisher:
‘Tom Sykes’s account of his rambling road trip through the country, The Realm of the Punisher, offers a serious and at times tragic corrective. He conveys in an affectionate, unpatronizing tone the many layers of injustice that run through the Philippines, and uses interviews and site visits to try to explain the eccentric ways and popular appeal of its more muscular leaders.’
Times Literary Supplement (TLS)
‘At last! A Western journalist/academic writing about the Philippines who has done proper homework and legwork, and who clearly has an affection for both the country and its people.’
James Hamilton-Paterson, author of Ghosts of Manila and America’s Boy.
‘Tom Sykes’ book is an excellent contribution when it comes to Duterte. It sheds valuable light on how such a popular leader could emerge from the thicket of Philippine politics and why he literally continues to get away with murder.’
Walden Bello, Professor of Sociology and Public Administration at the University of the Philippines and author of The Food Wars.
‘Tom has surely earned his stripes. He’s written an almost encylopaedic collection of facts and anecdotes about the Philippines which anyone can dip into, from historical times to the wartime era, from heroes to dictators, up until today, the period of Duterte. It is the first book, as far as I know, that details the current Philippines, warts and all, centering on Duterte’s impact on Filipinos.’
Gene Alcantara, Filipino Chronicles.
‘The Realm of the Punisher is an accessible and meticulously researched travelogue based on lucid, first-hand reporting, interviews with a profusion of notable people and close readings of textual sources dating back centuries.’
The London Magazine
‘Tom Sykes’s artful descriptive style evokes characters and locations … This book deals with historical, social and political issues that most “travelogues” don’t.’