Thomas Chatterton Williams

Thomas Chatterton Williams is the author of a memoir, Losing My Cool: Love, Literature, and a Black Man’s Escape from the Crowd. He lives in Paris with his wife and daughter.

Vicarious Pleasure

The joy of seeing a friend succeed

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, August 14, 2019

The Fiction of Race

When will we recognize it as such?

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Rhetorical Rules of Engagement

Shunning those who disagree with us won’t help anyone

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Seaside Sojourns

Fleeing the heat of the French capital

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, July 24, 2019

In Praise of Shame

Without it, we are lost

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Step Aside

Do we really want to live in a society where credentials don’t matter?

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Beating the Heat

Brittany is France’s best refuge from soaring temperatures

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Selective Lip Service

Attending an elite college is not an entitlement

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The Best and Worst of Times

A weekend trip exposes France’s contradictions

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Mornings of Stillness and Wonder

How my son is helping me to rediscover the City of Lights

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, June 05, 2019

The Battle of All Against All

What would a truly equal society look like?

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Better Than the Real Thing

The strange pleasure of sports highlights

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Life in Black and White

A new volume commemorates the work of a brilliant photographer of the 1960s

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Scootering Around Town

The automobile’s appeal is in decline thanks to the proliferation of alternatives

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Disconnection in a Connected Age

On the mixed blessing of technological advancement

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Skin Deep

You can’t fight like with like

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, April 24, 2019

A Loss to Paris and the World

The fire at Notre Dame should remind us to see the world’s wonders while we can

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, April 17, 2019

A Life Off-track

A talented historian’s tragic end

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Family Matters

Closing my distance from a distant relation

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Of Poverty and Plenty

California’s homelessness crisis is a moral stain

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Taking the Blame

Should all white Australians be implicated in the actions of one?

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Permanently Shelved

Why collect more books that you can ever read?

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, March 13, 2019

No Place Like …

Finding happiness in small spaces

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, March 06, 2019

The Bitter Truth

A culture exemplified by an over-sweet cuppa joe

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Double Lives

What is truth in an un-heroic age?

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, February 20, 2019

White Out?

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Climate vs. Comfort

How much would you sacrifice to do your part?

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Make Social Media Great Again

… Or at least tolerable

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Art of Finding Time

(And finding time for art)

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, January 23, 2019

The Great Distraction

Why we talk about anything but climate change

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Dignity and the Individual

Abandon your grievances and strive for the heroic

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, January 09, 2019

An Office of One’s Own

The unlikely liberation of commuting to a desk

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Taking It to the Streets

Darkness descends on the City of Light

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Hip-hop in the Alps

A transcendent mountaintop moment

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Protected by Privilege?

An exercise in illogic

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Bill of Health

The shock of entering the American health-care system

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Guessing Games

What you can tell about people—and what you can’t

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Naked and Unafraid

A place where women, and men too, are comfortable in their skin

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Ein Prosit!

Sometimes wine is the best medicine

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Inane and Insane

Is our world crazier than ever?

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, October 24, 2018

A New Breed of Patriot

Sometimes love of country means defying her laws

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Don’t Tread on Me

When we’re all victims, we’re all enemies

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Strangely Familiar

Some places live in the imagination long before we visit them

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, October 03, 2018

A Sad Story

Sometimes good faith and hard work are not rewarded

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Checkmate

In chess, as in life, there are no guarantees

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Building Brawn

The brain isn’t the only muscle you should train

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, September 12, 2018

City of Wonder

Venice reminds us that life is full of hope and possibility

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Me First

On a peculiar aspect of French culture

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, August 29, 2018

#SelfExile

On waiting for the political tide to change

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Carpe Diem

In regret of lost time

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Versed in Outrage

A poet’s capitulation highlights the challenges facing artists and intellectuals

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, August 08, 2018

History Is Not Everything

There is more to life than what has come before

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Strangers on a Train

A new perspective born of unexpected kindness

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Goal!

The cathartic spectacle of sport

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Time Well Spent

The life-affirming pleasure of childcare

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Workers of France, Unite!

The personal misery of public strikes

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Kanye and Ta-Nehisi

“This is my life, homie, you decide yours”

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Make Them Work

A different sort of moral obligation

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Is 40 the New 30?

On the extended march toward full adulthood

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Slowing Down

Thoughts on the imperiled life of leisure

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, June 06, 2018

#AllTheSame?

The danger of categorical thinking

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Fathers and Sons

Shaping up for the big event

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Tabula Rasa

Thoughts on the birth of my son

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Opting Out

On the decision to “retire” from being black

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Joys of Outdoor Drinking and Public Nudity

Berliners enjoy small freedoms that most Americans do not

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Abolition of Boredom

Idle moments are few in the digital age—and that’s okay

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Service With a Scowl

In France, the customer isn’t always right

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Just for Kicks

The peculiar French aversion to shoeshines

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, April 04, 2018

In Praise of Working From Hotels

Even freelancers deserve some creature comforts

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Less Is More

The life-affirming pleasure of culling your shelves

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Keep Your Enemies Close

And they just might become your friends

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, March 14, 2018

“Sit down, be humble”

The inspiring example of one of rap’s modest and thoughtful heroes

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, March 07, 2018

On a Walkabout

The art of going nowhere in particular

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Solar Escape

How Spain helped cure my winter blues

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Too Much of a Good Thing

Americans spend most of their waking hours staring at screens

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Being Black

Considering the veil of race

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Banishing our Biases

The happy possibilities of letting them go

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Let There Be Light

Europe in the record-breaking darkness of winter

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Willfully Unaware

An existentialist on the mysteries of sexual desire

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Entry-Level Presidency

After Trump, we need a leader who is not only popular but qualified

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Resilience

A resolution

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, January 03, 2018

The Virtue of Mastery

Dedication, perseverance, and a rapper’s stellar performance

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Combs, Clippers, and Comraderie

Barbershops offer much more than a trim and a shave

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Sensibility and Sense

A petition to remove a painting from the Met misunderstands the nature of art

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Watch the Throne

The royal engagement offers new hope

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Among the Sundowners

Inspiration and aspiration on Martha’s Vineyard

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Light in the Dark

A visit to Weimar yields an unlikely reason for hope

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Categorical Kindness

The hidden racism of polite condescension

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Ghouls, Goblins, and Capitalism

The scariest thing about Halloween is the adults who insist on celebrating it

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Forget Your Troubles

Taking a break from it all in a small California town

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Beyond Statistics

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Borders, Real and Artificial

On Mattias Enard’s novel Street of Thieves

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Carpe Diem

Don’t assume there will always be more time

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, October 04, 2017

The Truth About Privilege

White, rich, tall, handsome ...

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, September 27, 2017

A Sense of Horrors Avoided

On progress and criticism

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, September 20, 2017

El Toro de Majorca

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A New City, a New Project

Moving to Berlin

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Losing Yourself in Italy

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Toxic Shock

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, August 23, 2017

What Do You Owe a Stranger?

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Security Theater

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, August 09, 2017

A Summer Retreat

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, August 02, 2017

A Kind of Homecoming

Transcending the “other” in art

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Holiday Season

Coming to terms with a month of nothing

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Order

What we tolerate in our youth

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Pétanque

The sport of summertime

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Batting Away the Helping Hand

Care and contradiction in the heart of Trump country

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Elegance in Action

It’s what you do, not what you have

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Window Gazing

Transcendence on the train

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Park Life

An oasis in the city

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Other Baldwin

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Price of Assimilation

Reverence vs. resemblance

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, May 24, 2017

You Can’t Go Home Again

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A Voice From the Swamp

A surprising source of Trump support

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Peak Democracy

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Alien to Ourselves

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Berlin’s Version of “Progress”

No Uber, no smartphones, no stress

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, April 19, 2017

We’re All Different in the Same Way

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Addendum

You can’t have a conversation, if one side isn’t allowed a voice

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Gringo

On strange feelings and constructions of identity

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A Peek Under the Thin Veneer of Civility

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Beating the Odds

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Family Ties

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Cold Shower

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Why Go Home?

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Out of Pocket

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, February 15, 2017

All Trump, All the Time

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, February 08, 2017

The Age of “Ressentiment”

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, February 01, 2017

“From Russia with Apathy and Indifference”

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A Man in Full

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, January 18, 2017

All That Jazz

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Middle-Class Mea Culpa

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, January 04, 2017

On Making the Best of It

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Unwelcome Home

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Neighborhood Haunts, Part 2

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Neighborhood Haunts, Part 1

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, November 30, 2016

No Equal Time for Racists

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, November 23, 2016

It Was All Good Just a Week Ago

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, November 16, 2016

“First on This Planet”

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Seat Backs and Tray Tables

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, November 02, 2016

They Reminisce Over You

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Real Nanny State

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Exceptional City

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A House in the Country

If the dream had come true, I might have lost my mind

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Who Are We, Really?

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, September 21, 2016

On the Firing Line

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, September 14, 2016

An Unmonumental Monument

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Two Kinds of People

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Hell Is Lines and Other People

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, August 24, 2016

North-South

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Global Monoculture

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Franprix

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Unsafe Spaces

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Bigger Splash

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Casino

Taking a gamble on a book

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Offline

A stroll through an empty Louvre

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Greetings from Paris

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Traffic Stop

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Going Native

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Keith Obadike’s Blackness

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, July 13, 2016

#RIP Madness

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Living Like White People

The disorientation of growing up privileged and black

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Monday, September 07, 2015

Roberto Bolaño’s “Last Evenings on Earth”

The unbearable sadness of fathers and sons

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Monday, September 21, 2015

James Baldwin's America

Truths both hard and timeless

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Harlem Notes

A writer goes uptown

by Thomas Chatterton Williams | Wednesday, March 02, 2011