On Monday, I am heading to the US. I’ll be there for nearly four weeks, travelling across several states, meeting up with old friends, coming face to face with more recent ones and, I hope very much, making new ones too. I’m going to be spending quite a lot of time at universities, bookshops and the odd radio station in North Carolina, Wisconsin, California, Indiana, Massachusetts and Chicago. In a nutshell, I’m going to be discussing my book with people including Emily Burrill, Delinda Collier, Kathryn Mathers, Will Reno, Vincent Barletta, Anna Klobucka, Victor Mendes, Martha Saavedra, Ellen Sapega, Deolinda Adão, Ugo Nwokeji, Jess Auerbach and many more, including lots and lots of students. For the last few weeks I’ve been swinging between excitement and anxiety, but if the past is anything to go by that can only bode well. I’m also going to be hanging out in New York for the first time, hooking up with more friends & family there. I confess, I’m packing my trainers so I can jog around Central Park. It all seems a long way away, but this time next week I will be preparing for a round table discussion at Duke with a group of graduate students who will be asking lots of questions about In the Name of the People. I imagine I am going to be challenged in many ways, and it’s going to be interesting to experience this from a US perspective. It’s alien territory: I don’t know what to expect. As ever, I consider myself an interloper: I’m not an academic. I always feel the need to state this publicly. But I will be trying to keep Justin Pearce in mind — and not to worry about it. Who would have thought? Definitely not me. I’ll probably still be pinching myself on the flight home. In the meantime, hoping to avoid Mr Trump & encounter Mr Sanders.